Web-Based Item Development and Banking

Authored by: Timothy J. Muckle

Handbook of Test Development

Print publication date:  November  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415626019
eBook ISBN: 9780203102961
Adobe ISBN: 9781136242571


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Item banking has come a long way in the past 30 years. Every veteran in the testing business seems to have a “war story” about how handwritten test questions were typed onto 3 × 5 index cards, stored in a shoe box (or a library-worthy card catalog bureau for larger tests), locked in a dusty utility closet, reviewed and edited on an overhead projector, made copy-ready and sent to the printer for mass production. Even those of us who are newer to the testing profession—say, within the last 10 years—may remember electronic databases of items that still required hard-copy printing and review, hand-kept annotations and edits that then had to be transcribed back into the original electronic version of the item and the like. Now compare to present day, in which electronic item banks have become an indispensable component of any successful testing program (Bergstrom & Gershon, 1995). Not only have item banks become completely computerized, but also the growth and accessibility of Internet-based tools have enabled more flexible authoring and “distribution” of content. And commercially available item banking software products, developed by third-party companies independent of test development and delivery, have carved out their own niche in the testing vendor market.

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