The Effects of Test Mode and Contiguity of Material on Geometry Test Scores, Cognitive Load, and Self-Efficacy

Kevin Greenberg, Robert Zheng, Mike Gardner, Lauren Barth-Cohen


In recent years, the development and usage of computer-based tests for educational assessment has grown. The computer-based tests are typically derived from paper-based tests, with the assumption the tests being administered in different modes are equivalent. Studies examining this test mode effect have mainly focused on the test scores, but few have examined other factors important to test performance. The current study examines the test mode effect for geometry test problems, while also putting in perspective the factors of self-efficacy and cognitive load as both are significant components in performance. The results suggest test scores and cognitive load for geometry problems are similar across the test modes, however learners’ self-efficacy significantly decreases when performing the geometry test problems in computer-based test mode. The findings provide insight into the test mode literature and give direction for future lines of research.

Keywords: Computer-based testing, Self-efficacy, Test mode effect, Geometry, Cognitive load

DOI: 10.7176/JEP/11-12-03

Publication date: April 30th 2020

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