SMABS 2004 Jena University
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European Association of Methodology

Department of methodology and evaluation research

Jena University

Contributions: Abstract

Item pool management using item blueprint

Wim J. van der LindenBernard P. Veldkamp
Adelaide Ariel
University of Twente
The Netherlands

Generally, any testing agency has an item collection, also called a master pool, from where a subset of items will be taken for operational use. This subset of items can be seen as an operational pool for a computerized adaptive testing (CAT), a set of testlets for a multistage testing (MST), or a set of linear tests for a paper and pencil test (P&P). Usually, choosing a subset of items for operational purposes is done in such a way that the results will meet test requirements. Mathematical programming techniques are widely used in this regard.

Every master pool changes dynamically as some items become obsolete or have been used very often, and when pretested items are added. Consequently, the quality of master pools might not be the same as the process of withdrawing old items and adding new items continues. This condition might jeopardize the quality of the resulting tests.

To deal with this problem, item blueprint methods have been introduced for a P&P test (van der Linden, Veldkamp, & Reese, 2000) and for a CAT (Veldkamp & van der Linden, 2000). These methods aim to provide a document specifying the detailed number and composition (categorical, quantitative, and psychometric attributes) of items needed in the pool.

In this study, we examine the use of item blueprints to manage a master pool in ongoing basis in order to avoid item pool depletion. A mathematical programming technique will be used to show how item blueprints work in several testing periods.