Abdullah, Sophiana Chua and Cooley, R.E.
Using Constraints to Develop and Deliver Adaptive Tests.
In: Proceedings of the Fourth International Computer Assisted Assessment Conference, Loughborough University, UK, June 2000, Loughborough University, UK,.
This paper shows how the techniques used to develop knowledge-based
systems can be applied to the construction of adaptive tests. It reports on an
experimental approach to the construction of adaptive tests, and it draws on
work in the fields of Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Expert Systems and
Constraint Logic Programming.
The distinctive features of the work are:
• The use of expert emulation as a basis for the design of tests.
• The use of logic programming and constraints for two purposes. Firstly, to
support knowledge acquisition from an expert tutor during the
development of a test; and secondly, to support the delivery of the test.
The paper, after reviewing the approach to adaptive tests in Intelligent
Tutoring Systems research, presents a case for expert emulation under those
circumstances in which statistically based testing procedures are
inappropriate. The paper then describes how knowledge about the content
and design of an adaptive test can be facilitated by computer support. The
software developed for this task makes use of a constraint solver embedded
in a Prolog system. In the subject area of the adaptive tests, namely
elementary arithmetic, it is shown that this software can be used for several
purposes. It can be used to: describe classes of problems, describe arithmetic
skills, describe student responses to problems and to generate problems. The
paper concludes with a discussion of a procedure for exploring a student’s
knowledge of a syllabus.
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