A Methodology to Achieve Secure Administration of English Comprehension Level Tests. Phase I.
Final rept. 1 May 70-11 May 71,
SOUTHWEST RESEARCH INST SAN ANTONIO TEX
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The English Comprehension Level ECL test is Defense Language Institutes DLI basic test for measuring English language proficiency of foreign military personnel. It is used for overseas screening and evaluation and during language training. The motivation to perform well on an ECL test is high. Consequently, test compromise is prevalent, particularly in overseas screening tests, causing economic disbenefits to the governments and countries involved. The reported project comprised two tasks pertaining to secure ECL test administration Task I, development of a computer methodology which would construct many ECL forms, thus reducing the opportunity for compromise and Task II, a costbenefits analysis to provide DLI management with guidelines and information on typical penalty costs. The Task II analysis, based on staff interviews, student records, and related DLI studies, indicated that compromise costs were substantial. Task I developed a computer methodology which will generate well-functioning ECL test forms in virtually unlimited number. The test forms conform to the Sponsors specifications. Test items are computer-selected in sets of 120 from a 5000-item data pool, listed, and transmitted to the Sponsor for test preparation. Both tasks are reported in detail. Author
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