Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Darina Scully, Linda Waters
Association of Test Publishers
Driving Program Decisions Through Research: Applying Best Practices
Scottsdale, AZ
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
It is important to avoid adopting the ‘default’ approach with respect to fundamental processes such as item development. However, this is not always achieved. For example: despite a strong body of research spanning 30+ years suggesting that three-option (one keyed option and two distractors) multiple-choice items are optimal, it is estimated that only about 1% of contemporary high-stakes assessments contain such items (Edwards, Arthur & Bruce, 2012). Indeed, the majority of test developers across a wide range of contexts and disciplines favour the use of 4- or 5-option items, with no justification for this practice. This session will provide an overview of practical, fiscal and psychometric arguments supporting the use of 3-option items. Furthermore, it will describe and discuss the findings of an empirical research study comparing stem-equivalent 3- and 4-option items, in the context of a food safety certification test administered to over 1,000 candidates.