ERIC Number: ED368784
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Are Reading Comprehension Tasks Affected by Line References in Test Items?
Huntley, Renee M.; Miller, Sherri
Whether the shaping of test items can itself result in qualitative differences in examinees' comprehension of reading passages was studied using the Pearson-Johnson item classification system. The specific practice studied incorporated, within an item stem line, references that point the examinee to a specific location within a reading passage. Versions of 71 test items with and without line references were prepared and classified by the Pearson-Johnson system as textually explicit, textually implicit, or scriptally implicit. Each experimental unit was administered as part of the ACT Assessment to nearly 425 examinees. The practice of citing specific lines of text generally served to make items easier, although mainly for low-ability examinees, thus accounting for the consistently lower discrimination in the version with line references. The performance of males and females, or Blacks and Whites, however, was not differentially affected. That performance is affected by the shaping of test items has important implications for test construction. It remains to be studied whether adding a line reference gives an advantage to an examinee in a timed test. Four tables present study findings. (Contains 6 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: ACT Assessment; Line References (Tests)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).