Paper–based versus computer–based assessment: key factors associated with the test mode effect

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This investigation seeks to confirm several key factors in computer–based versus paper–based assessment. Based on earlier research, the factors considered here include content familiarity, computer familiarity, competitiveness, and gender. Following classroom instruction, freshman business undergraduates (N = 105) were randomly assigned to either a computer–based or identical paper–based test. ANOVA of test data showed that the computer–based test group outperformed the paper–based test group. Gender, competitiveness, and computer familiarity were NOT related to this performance difference, though content familiarity was. Higher–attaining students benefited most from computer–based assessment relative to higher–attaining students under paper–based testing. With the current increase in computer–based assessment, instructors and institutions must be aware of and plan for possible test mode effects.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: The Pennsylvania State University email: 2: The College of New Jersey

Publication date: November 1, 2002

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