Matt Haigh of Cambridge Assessment had a very interesting poster at ALT-C 2010. Titel: Changing the way we see test-items in a computer-based environment: Screen design and question difficulty
His poster illustrates research investigating the effect of screen design features on the difficulty of a computer-based test item. The research emerges from an increased drive in the UK context to utilise computer-based testing in the high-stakes examination system (Ofqual, 2005). In addition, Higher Education and Further Education practitioners are making more use of computer-based assessment in their educational programmes (Conole & Warburton, 2005).
His poster shows actually that the difficulty of test items does not change significantly on the basis of different presentation forms. The main point is in fact that screen-lay-out that could confuse students or that could hinder full access to all information on a screen, could hamper performance of students. This is of course as expected.
Click on the link below to read his poster-submission and download his poster.
Click here for the hand-out: Alt-C_A4_Handout