A theoretical framework for mastery testing
based on item response theory and Bayesian decision
theory is described. The idea of sequential
testing is developed, with the goal of providing
shorter tests for individuals who have clearly
mastered (or clearly not mastered) a given subject
and longer tests for those individuals for whom the mastery decision is not as clear-cut. In a simulated
application of the approach to a professional
certification examination, it is shown that average
test lengths can be reduced by half without sacrificing
classification accuracy. Index terms: Bayesian
decision theory, computerized mastery testing, item
response theory, sequential testing, variable-length tests.
Lewis, Charles; Sheehan, Kathleen.
Using Bayesian decision theory to design a computerized mastery test.
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