Towards an authoring system for item construction

Jos H.A.N. Rikers

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The process of writing test items is analyzed, and a blueprint is presented for an authoring system for test item writing to reduce invalidity and to structure the process of item writing. The developmental methodology is introduced, and the first steps in the process are reported. A historical review traces the advances made in the field and the formal systems developed for reviewing test items. A Computer Aided Item Construction Project has been initiated to integrate the results of test writing research into an Authoring System for Item Construction (ASIC) program. An existing systems development method was used to guide the process of developing the authoring system. This method, Information Systems Work and Analysis of Changes (ISAC), starts with analyzing the needs, ideas, and problems of those who handle information. Only this first stage, Change Analysis, is described in this report. Steps in change analysis are: (1) problem analysis; (2) description of the existing situation; (3) making a test plan; (4) choosing an item format; (5) creating the test item; (6) checking the items; (7) study of change alternatives; (8) developing a blueprint; (9) choice of the item format; (10) generating items; and (11) checking items. Problems of item writing are described and listed in two tables with reference to whether an authoring system would contribute to their solution and the validity of the test. In all, 4 tables and 12 figures illustrate aspects of item writing.
Original languageUndefined
Place of PublicationEnschede, the Netherlands
PublisherUniversity of Twente, Faculty Educational Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1988

Publication series

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


  • Foreign Countries
  • Authoring Aids (Programing)
  • Computer Assisted Testing
  • Systems Development
  • Item Banks
  • Test Validity
  • Test Reviews
  • Test Items
  • Test Construction
  • Latent Trait Theory
  • IR-104172

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