COMPUTERIZED ADAPTATIVE TESTS: A NEW FRIENDLY AND EFFICIENCY ASSESSMENT PROCEDURE

S. Tirado, I. Cañadas, R. Bautista

Universidad Miguel Hernandez de Elche (SPAIN)
Nowadays, for educational evaluation, the tests more used constitute no doubt one of the instruments for the valuation of aptitudes or of knowledge. In the last years a new generation of tests has born, the Computerized Adaptive Tests (CAT), which they represent without any doubt one of the best alternatives as tools of evaluation of the acquired knowledge. Not uselessly, it is said of them that they constitute one of the most important revolutions of last years in the psychological and educational evaluation. Inside the current frame of the education, in which the European Higher Education Area pleads for a tutorship teaching-learning process, the process of development of the new methods of evaluation of the acquired knowledge it has a special relevancy. However, in spite of these loable objectives, it seems a contradiction to combine this new teaching-learning model and the overcrowded students’ assessment. Therefore, having at one’s disposal assessment instruments adapted to this tutored teaching would be advisable, or, in other words, personalized or made-to-measure knowledge assessment tools, appropriate to a teaching method that expects student autonomy. In short, a quality higher education requires a flexible, fast and efficient evaluation system. This way, by means of new methodological, technological and computer components, CATs give response to the educational specific needs both of persons and groups. From this new educational paradigm, we propose to use a procedure of measurement based on CATs that allows the evaluation of knowledge about Psychology Students including an example. Objective: To use a CAT for assessing psychometrics knowledge instead of classical pen-and-pencil test. Subjects: a sample of 66 students of third course of Psychology Grade at Miguel Hernandez University (74,2% women; 21,8+/ -4,3 years old). Procedure: Students were examined of Psychometrics at a computerized classroom by means of a CAT administered from an item bank of 254 items. Afterthat, they complete a survey about attitudes about CATs, that includes items like: At what extent do you… “…prefer knowledge assessment by means CATs opposite conventional paper-and-pencil exams?”, “…think CATs are useful, reliable, fast, interesting, and comfortable for students?”, “…think CATs are adequate in order to improving
teaching quality?” and “…think CATs are appropriate for knowledge assessment at European Higher Education Area context?”. In all variables, response scale was from 0 to 10. Moreover, other academic variables were assessed. Results: Psychometric knowledge estimation were 1,02+/-0,53 and maximum Estimated standard error was 0,38. Regarding attitudes, students
prefer CAT in front of papel-and -pencil exam (mean=6,14+/-2,4). Moreover, they think CATs are very useful (7,79+/ -1,3), reliable (7,74+/-1,7), fast (9,02+/-1,04), interesting (7,58+/-1,5), and comfortable (7,76+/-2,2) for students. In the same way, they appears like very appropriate for teaching quality (6,94+/-1,4) and for assessment at EHEA context (6,97+/-1.4). Conclusions: Results show that CATs are very friendly and students prefer them to classical assessment. This, together with the benefits that literature arises, like flexibility, adaptability and precision, turns them into one of the evaluation procedures of the University of Future.