Adaptive Mastery Testing Using a Multidimensional IRT Model

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Mastery testing is used to classify a student as a master or nonmaster. In this chapter, I consider sequential mastery testing (SMT; see, e.g., Lewis and Sheehan 1990; Wainer 1990; Weiss 1983) based on Bayesian decision theory, where the cost of testing is explicitly taken into account. In SMT, sets of one or more items are administered sequentially. After every administration of an item set (also referred to as a testlet), the cost of continuing testing relative to the cost of expected misclassifications is evaluated. If the cost of continuing testing outweighes the expected loss due to a misclassification, testlet adminstration is stopped. So SMT is designed to maximize the proportion of correct classification decisions, while minimizing the total test length. In a simulation study, Lewis and Sheehan (1990) showed that average test lengths can be reduced by half without sacrificing classification accuracy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputerized Multistage Testing
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Applications
EditorsDuanli Yan, Alina A. von Davier, Charles Lewis
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherChapman and Hall/CRC
ISBN (Electronic)9780429096358
ISBN (Print)9781466505773
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameChapman & Hall/CRC Statistics in the Social and Behavioral Sciences
PublisherChapman and Hall/CRC


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