Incorporating randomness in the Fisher information for improving item-exposure control in CATs

Juan Ramón Barrada, Julio Olea, Vicente Ponsoda, Francisco José Abad

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22 Citations (Scopus)


The most commonly employed item selection rule in a computerized adaptive test (CAT) is that of selecting the item with the maximum Fisher information for the estimated trait level. This means a highly unbalanced distribution of item-exposure rates, a high overlap rate among examinees and, for item bank management, strong pressure to replace items with a high discrimination parameter in the bank. An alternative for mitigating these problems involves, at the beginning of the test, basing item selection mainly on randomness. As the test progresses, the weight of information in the selection increases. In the present work we study, for two selection rules, the progressive methods (Revuelta & Ponsoda, 1998) and the proportional method (Segall, 2004a), different functions that define the weight of the random component according to the position in the test of the item to be administered. The functions were tested in simulated item banks and in an operative bank. We found that both the progressive and the proportional methods tolerate a high weight of the random component with minimal or zero loss of accuracy, while bank security and maintenance are improved. © 2008 The British Psychological Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-513
JournalBritish Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008


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