ERIC Number: ED423310
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Item Banking. ERIC/AE Digest.
This digest discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using item banks, and it provides useful information for those who are considering implementing an item banking project in their school districts. The primary advantage of item banking is in test development. Using an item response theory method, such as the Rasch model, items from multiple tests are placed on a common scale, one scale per subject area. The scale indicates the relative difficulty of the items, and items can be placed into the scale without extensive testing. New subtest and tests with predictable characteristics can be developed by drawing items from the bank. Another advantage of the item bank is that the test developer can "deposit" or "withdraw" items as needed. Large deposits can be made by merging the item bank with one from another district, and small deposits can come by adding only a few items. Another advantage to item banking is that it helps establish a language for discussing curriculum goals and objectives. However, item banking and item response theory are not cure-alls for measurement problems. Care and effort must still go into item writing. A great deal of work must go into preparation and planning. Computer experts should be available to: modify computer programs; establish a database system; and run packaged programs. The most crucial step is planning, which involves preparing and training those who will work with the item bank, the identification of the initial contents, and the identification of what the developer hopes to accomplish with the item bank. The start-up activities would mostly involve administrative activities and the data processing staff. Running the item bank then involves depositing new items, with field testing as necessary, and ensuring that the bank is used appropriately. As a service to instructional and curriculum staff, item bank developers can provide information on the relative difficulty of different tasks within and across grade levels. (Contains five references.) (SLD).
Descriptors: Adaptive Testing, Computer Assisted Testing, Difficulty Level, Item Banks, Item Response Theory, Test Construction, Test Items
ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, University of Maryland, College Park, Schriver Hall, College Park, MD 20742-5701; telephone: 800-464-3742 (free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, Washington, DC.