The “Difficulty” Question
Written by David Foster, CEO of Caveon Test Security
I introduced the Caveon SmartItem in February of 2018 as a possible selected-response replacement for the traditional multiple-choice item (MC). I suggested that that standard MC items need replacement for the following reasons: (1) its static nature makes it easy for harvesters and cheaters to be successful, (2) it allows those test takers with testwiseness (i.e., great MC test taking skills to gain an unfair advantage, and (3) Standard MC items cover only small slices of important identified skills for children and adults, which leads to largely successful efforts by trainers and educators to “teach to the test”. SmartItems mitigate or even eliminate completely these and other problems introduced by the use of MC items.
The SmartItem has generated a great deal of interest since its introduction. I’ve been asked very specific questions about how it is built, if it is fair, how it solves security problems, how is it analyzed statistically, and….