Research Topic

Advancements in Technology-Based Assessment: Emerging Item Formats, Test Designs, and Data Sources

About this Research Topic

Technology has become an indispensable tool for educational and psychological assessment in today’s world. Researchers and large-scale assessment programs alike are increasingly using digital technology (e.g., laptops, tablets, and smartphones) to collect behavioral data beyond the mere idea of responses as ...

Technology has become an indispensable tool for educational and psychological assessment in today’s world. Researchers and large-scale assessment programs alike are increasingly using digital technology (e.g., laptops, tablets, and smartphones) to collect behavioral data beyond the mere idea of responses as correct. Along these lines, technology innovates and enhances assessments in terms of item and test design, methods of test delivery, data collection and analysis, as well as the reporting of test results.

The aim of this Research Topic is to present recent advancements in technology-based assessment. Our focus is on cognitive assessments, including the measurement of abilities, competencies, knowledge, and skills but may also include non-cognitive aspects of the assessment. In the area of (cognitive) assessments the innovations driven by technology are manifold: Digital assessments facilitate the creation of new types of stimuli and response formats that were out of reach for assessments using paper; for instance, interactive simulations including multimedia elements, as well as virtual or augmented realities which serve as the task environment. Moreover, technology allows the automated generation of items based on specific item models. Such items can be assembled into tests in a more flexible way than that offered by paper-and-pencil tests and could even be created on the fly; for instance, tailoring item difficulty to individual ability (adaptive testing), while assuring that multiple content constraints are met. As a requirement for adaptive testing or to lower the burden of raters coding item responses manually, computers enable the automatic scoring of constructed responses; for instance, text responses can be scored automatically by using natural language processing and text mining. Technology-based assessments provide not only response data (e.g., correct vs. incorrect responses) but also process data (e.g., frequencies and sequences of test-taking strategies, including navigation behavior) which reflects the course of solving a test item. Process data has been used successfully, among others, to evaluate the data quality, to define process-oriented constructs, to improve measurement precision, and to address substantial research questions.

We expect the contributions of this Research Topic to build on this research by considering how technology can further improve, and enhance, educational and psychological assessment. Regarding educational testing, both research papers on the assessment of learning (e.g., summative assessment of learning outcomes) and on the assessment for learning (e.g., formative assessment to support the learning process) are welcome. We expect submissions of empirical papers that present and evaluate innovative technology-based assessment approaches, as well as new applications or illustrations of already existing approaches. We are also interested in papers addressing the validity of test scores and other indicators obtained from innovative assessment procedures.

Please note that this description serves as a starting point to familiarize potential contributors with the scope of this Research Topic. Thus, there may also be contributions that fit the Research Topic that are not mentioned explicitly here. If you have any questions about the scope of our Research Topic, feel free to contact the editors of this Research Topic.


Keywords: technology-based assessment, item design, test design, automatic scoring, process data


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

23 November 2018 Manuscript

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Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

23 November 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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