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Appl Psychol Meas. 2018 Jan;42(1):42-57. doi: 10.1177/0146621617726788. Epub 2017 Aug 26.

Using Automatic Item Generation to Create Solutions and Rationales for Computerized Formative Testing.

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University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Computerized testing provides many benefits to support formative assessment. However, the advent of computerized formative testing has also raised formidable new challenges, particularly in the area of item development. Large numbers of diverse, high-quality test items are required because items are continuously administered to students. Hence, hundreds of items are needed to develop the banks necessary for computerized formative testing. One promising approach that may be used to address this test development challenge is automatic item generation. Automatic item generation is a relatively new but rapidly evolving research area where cognitive and psychometric modeling practices are used to produce items with the aid of computer technology. The purpose of this study is to describe a new method for generating both the items and the rationales required to solve the items to produce the required feedback for computerized formative testing. The method for rationale generation is demonstrated and evaluated in the medical education domain.


automatic item generation; item development; technology and assessment; test development

[Available on 2019-01-01]

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Conflicting Interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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