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The influence of item features on item difficulty and item discrimination in Dutch traffic theory exams

Dreu, Rosanne Cornelia de (2019) The influence of item features on item difficulty and item discrimination in Dutch traffic theory exams.

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Abstract:This research focuses on the influence of item features on item difficulty and item discrimination in tests. When specific features in test questions are not specified, it is uncertain which factors contribute to variances in item difficulty and item discrimination. This results in time consuming processes to make different equivalent test forms in current tests, as it is not clear which items needs to be implemented to keep the exam equal in difficulty. Therefore, it is of great relevance to analyze the features that can predict differences in item parameters. The research question of this thesis is ‘Which features are related to item difficulty and item discrimination?’. This research will focus on item difficulties of specific items (N = 506). Firstly, all relevant task features are going to be evaluated. The features of the item can be divided into task presentation features and task intrinsic substantive features. Task presentation features include task assignments, stimulus presentation features and response facilitation features (type of response mode e.g. visual or verbal). Task features are more substantive (for example the difference in difficulty between adding, subtraction, multiplication and division). After a classification of all items present in the item bank it is possible to get insights in the differences in item difficulty and item discrimination. With use of correlational analysis and regression analysis, multiple features were found that had statistically significant influence on item difficulty and item discrimination. In terms of task presentation features it was found that drag and drop response format added positively to item discrimination. This also applies to items with two situations (compared to items with one situation); these items discriminate better between skilled and unskilled participants. Knowledge gained from this study could optimize the current exam item structure and test assembly.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/79514
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