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drainage problems (Bejar, 1991) Bejar s innovative scoring algorithm enables the computer to automatically score a candidate s design
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Computerization to Improve Scoring
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NCARB joined with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to develop and implement a computerized version of their site-design test (Bejar & Braun, 1999) The traditional architectural licensing test was composed of open-ended questions, which required human graders for scoring NCARB not only changed the administrative test media but also adopted a new methodology for scoring The computerized algorithm grades designs based on features, such as object site relations and object object relations (Bejar, 1991) In order to validate this new scoring methodology, two human graders and the computer scored 119 solutions to a spatial arrangement problem Using Cohen s kappa agreement index, Bejar (1991) assessed the similarity between the computer and the two graders ratings He found that the agreement index for two jurors (077) was only slightly higher than for the computer and grader 1 (075) and for the computer and grader 2 (070) These ndings show that utilizing the computational capabilities of the computer can reduce the amount of time required to score the test with little effect on the validity of scores There has been substantial research on automated scoring of another type of constructed response, namely the essay Clearly, the most direct approach to assessing an individual s writing ability is to have that person provide a sample of his/her writing However, the time consuming and expensive scoring methods of the past, which required at least two trained graders to read and score each essay, have greatly restricted the use of essays in standardized testing As a result, test developers have used item formats such as sentence correction, which has led to criticisms that their tests do not adequately assess critical aspects of writing ability Test developers have realized the limitations of alternative formats and much work has been done to computerize grading of essays Zenisky and Sireci (2002) list several methods, including project essay grade, e-rater, latent semantic analysis, text categorization, constructed free response scoring tool, expert systems, and mental modeling One concern with using automated scoring systems is that examinees may try to trick the program into assigning scores that are too high This leads to the topic of the next section: the potential risks of using computerized formats for testing
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RISKS
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Despite the numerous bene ts derived from computerizing tests, the system is not perfect There are in fact risks and costs associated with computerization First, converting a traditional paper-and-pencil test to a computerized version
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is no easy task; it is a long and costly procedure, and data for the new administrative medium may be needed to demonstrate the validity and reliability of the new test (eg, in a meta-analysis, Mead & Drasgow, 1993, found that speeded computerized tests were not equivalent to their paperand-pencil counterparts) It is even more problematic to develop a brand new computerized test This process can take years and, in the end, the test may be found wanting Even if a computerized measure using a new format is found to be valid, questions about whether computerization improves measurement ef ciency still remain (eg, Jodoin, 2003, found that innovative items provided less information per unit of time than multiple-choice items) Additionally, tests that implement computerized scoring have been carefully scrutinized and questions still exist concerning the extent to which their scoring procedures are reliable and valid (eg, Powers et al, 2002, found that e-rater, a computerized scorer, could be tricked into assigning a higher score than the essay deserved) Finally, issues about test security have become a major concern of test developers
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