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Based on the McMaster
Undergraduate MD Programme

SIR UK User Group Conference


Aberdeen, UK, 21 June 2002

David Keane, Research Associate (keaned@mcmaster.ca)


Programme for Educational Research and Development
Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada www.fhs.mcmaster.ca/perd
è 
1. Introduction to progress testing
² definition
² purpose
² method
² goals
² special features
² basic patterns in performance data

2. Using SIR for progress testing


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[ longitudinal testing of knowledge
acquisition
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[ longitudinal testing of knowledge
acquisition

[ an objective method for assessing the


acquisition and retention of knowledge
over time relative to curriculum-wide
goals
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an objective method for assessing the acquisition and retention of
knowledge over time relative to curriculum-wide goals

[ objective
² use multiple choice questions
[ knowledge
² test what learners know
[ over time
² test repeatedly at regular intervals
[ curriculum-wide
² address end-of-programme learning objectives
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[ to determine whether the learner is
progressing

² learning enough?

² retaining enough?

² doing so quickly enough?


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[ progress is relative
² compare learner to his/her peer group
[ current class or past n classes
[ standardized scores (z-scores)

² review performance on multiple tests


[ current and past

[ assessed with one measure


² percentage correct, whole test
[ adjust for guessing?
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[ help the learner (formative evaluation)
² constructive feedback
[ about their knowledge base
[ about their ability to self-assess
[ has to be specific/detailed

² timely feedback
[ reassure those who are progressing
[ alert those who are not
² do so early enough to facilitate effective
remediation
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[ help the Programme (summative evaluation)
² provide defensible evidence to support
critical decisions pertaining to individuals
[ mandated remediation
[ pass / fail / conditional advancement

[ the emphasis..
² on formative aspects
[ minimize negative impact on learning
behaviours
² tutorial functioning
² self/peer-assessment
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[ the item bank
² a sample of the knowledge that a good
student will likely encounter by the time
that student. .
[ graduates?
[ is six months / a year beyond graduation?

- content encompasses nearly the 'entire'


domain of the field in question
[ cf. course/curriculum 'core' knowledge
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[ instructions to examinees
² don't study for this test
[ 180 items, randomly selected from 2,600+

² don't guess
[ test your ability to self-assess
[ penalty for guessing (optional)

² attempt only those items for which you


have some knowledge and are reasonably
confident you know the best/correct
answer

     
[ Class means on whole test for..
² % attempted
² % correct
[ not adjusted for assumed guesses

[ look at patterns..
² across time
[ week in programme (x of 138)
² across classes at week x
 
  

     
[ % attempted, % correct
² patterns are relatively stable across tests
and classes
² means at week x are relatively consistent
across tests and classes
² examinee performance is relatively
consistent across tests and classes
[ overall test reliability 0.6 - 0.7 (8 tests)
[ test-retest correlation 0.6 - 0.8 (2 tests)
Π| 

untroduction to Progress Testing

Any questions?
è 
1. Introduce progress testing
2. Using SIR for progress testing
² what's in an item?
² data management tasks
² managing dm tasks
[ software
[ databases and pql
² SIR \ valued features
² future enhancements
    !"
[ the examinee sees..
nn. 2 

      
    
 


 

 


         Stem

     
  
  !"#$   %
    &
2 2  
B ' 
  

C 2(   
 Options
D ) 
 
E * 
    !#
[ the data manager sees..
² stem and options (text)
and
² unique item identifier
² correct response code
² content codes (6 fields, 1, 2 or 3 sets)
² item performance data
[ stats on usage, power to discriminate
[ by test, class; across tests, classes
² and more..
[ date last used, don't use flag
˜  $
1. store, retrieve, manipulate and print
large volumes of textual information
[ pre-test: test booklets
² 180 items, 21²22 pages/booklet
[ post-test: performance reports
² for examinees: 2 reports x 1²2 pages/rep
² for administrator: re. items, tests, classes and
examinees who are not progressing
[ accommodate special needs re.
² special characters ² Greek letters, math symbols
² page layout, fonts, typeface style
[ merge data into report templates
˜  $ %
2. read examinees' responses
² 100-item optical mark response sheets
² tab-delimited ascii records
[ Mac: 2 sheets X approx. 280|420 examinees

3. score examinees' responses


² requires item, test, class, examinee info
² compute and retain performance stats
[ key measures: % attempted, % correct
² mean & sd re. whole test (and major subdomains?)
[ for: each examinee, each class|peer group
˜  $ %
4. compute and retain item performance
stats
² requires item, test, class, examinee info

5. compute/retrieve data needed in


standard reports
² re. examinees, classes, tests, items

6. assemble and print reports


˜  $
7. enable support staff to do all of the
above with relative ease
² minimal reliance on the application
programmer after everything is up and
running
       !
[ SIR is not a word processor

[ SIR is a record management and stats-


oriented reporting tool
² allows user to build powerful custom
applications
² vendor provides exceptional support
beyond the installed Help files
[ prompt, relevant and practical replies
    
[ the MD Programme's solution

² for text-intensive tasks..

Corel WordPerfect

- for numeric data and stats-intensive


tasks..
SIR
    | 
[ a set of merge data files (database)
[ case-based by item id
[ item stems, options and other fixed info

[ export data via csv or fixed-format records


[ import data via csv-format records
[ into merge data files

[ multiple merge forms (report templates)


[ extensive use of merge and macro commands
to produce pre/post-test reports
[ custom-build merge|macro applications
   &'&#% #(((
[ 2 databases, case-based
² ITEMS re. items
² TEEX re. tests, examinees, classes

[ major reliance on (vb) PQL


² custom applications
[ csv-format records
² add/update records/fields (eg, from WP)
² write records/values (eg, for WP)
² PQL procedures
[ csv save, tabulate, save table, spss save
#(((  "
[ DBMS
² case-based option for db type
[ system-maintained
[ easy access to any case's records
[ case id is on all dumped records

² global variables
[ pass user settings to applications

² utilities
[ Data \ File Dump, File Input

² tabfiles and tables


[ create, index, populate, delete tables
#(((  #
[ PQL
² nested access to cases
² read csv-format records
² vb dialog boxes

[ PQL Procedures
² write csv-format records
² xtab tables, flexibility re. headers (columns)
² write SPSS system files
º    
[ upgrade to SIR 2002 (from SIR 2000)
² update custom applications (to vb pql)
² add secondary indexes
[ examinees by name, current class

[ web access
² for examinees: performance reports
² method?
[ ColdFusion (CF ²² SQL ²² ODBC driver ²² SIR db)
[ CGI scripts
Π| 

Using Su for progress testing

Any questions?