ERIC Number: EJ1081194
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
Detecting Test Tampering Using Item Response Theory
Wollack, James A.; Cohen, Allan S.; Eckerly, Carol A.
Educational and Psychological Measurement, v75 n6 p931-953 Dec 2015
Test tampering, especially on tests for educational accountability, is an unfortunate reality, necessitating that the state (or its testing vendor) perform data forensic analyses, such as erasure analyses, to look for signs of possible malfeasance. Few statistical approaches exist for detecting fraudulent erasures, and those that do largely do not lend themselves to making probabilistic statements about the likelihood of the observations. In this article, a new erasure detection index, "EDI," is developed, which uses item response theory to compare the number of observed wrong-to-right erasures to the number expected due to chance, conditional on the examinee's ability-level and number of erased items. A simulation study is presented to evaluate the Type I error rate and power of "EDI" under various types of fraudulent and benign erasures. Results show that "EDI" with a correction for continuity yields Type I error rates that are less than or equal to nominal levels for every condition studied, and has high power to detect even small amounts of tampering among the students for whom tampering is most likely.
Descriptors: Tests, Cheating, Item Response Theory, Accountability, Simulation, Error Patterns, Error Correction, Evaluation Methods, Statistical Significance, Teacher Behavior
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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