Calculating balanced incomplete block design for educational assessment

Willem J. van der Linden, James E. Carlson

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

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A popular design in large scale' educational assessments is the balanced incomplete block design. The design assumes that the item pool is split into a set of blocks of items that are assigned to assessment booklets. This paper shows how the technique of 0-1 linear programming can be used to calculate a balanced incomplete block design. Several structural as well as practical constraints on this type of design are formulated as linear (in)equalities. In addition, possible objective functions to optimize the design are discussed. The technique is demonstrated using an item pool from the 1996 Grade 8 Mathematics National Assessment of Educational Progress Project.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente, Faculty Educational Science and Technology
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Publication series

NameOMD research report
PublisherUniversity of Twente, Faculty of Educational Science and Technology


  • Linear Programming
  • Educational Assessment
  • Research Design
  • METIS-136389
  • Item Banks
  • IR-103599
  • Research Methodology


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