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The Effectiveness of a Mediating Structure for Writing Analysis Level Test Items From Text Based Instruction

Description: This study is concerned with the effect of placing text into a mediated structure form upon the generation of test items for analysis level domain referenced test construction. The item writing methodology used is the linguistic (operationally defined) item writing technology developed by Bormuth, Finn, Roid, Haladyna and others. This item writing methodology is compared to 1) the intuitive method based on Bloom's definition of analysis level test questions and 2) the intuitive with keywords identified method of item writing. A mediated structure was developed by coordinating or subordinating sentences in an essay by following five simple grammatical rules. Three test writers each composed a ten-item test using each of the three methodologies based on a common essay. Tests were administered to 102 Composition 1 community college students. Students were asked to read the essay and complete one test form. Test forms by writer and method were randomly delivered. Analysis of variance showed no significant differences among either methods or writers. Item analysis showed no method of item writing resulting in items of consistent difficulty among test item writers. While the results of this study show no significant difference from the intuitive, traditional methods of item writing, analysis level test item generation using a mediating structure may yet prove useful to the classroom teacher with access to a computer. All three test writers agree that test items were easier to write using the generative rules and mediated structure. Also, some relief was felt by the writers in that the method theoretically assured that an analysis level item was written.
Date: August 1989
Creator: Brasel, Michael D. (Michael David)
Partner: UNT Libraries