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A Smart Authoring System for Designing, Configuring, and Deploying Adaptive Assessments at Scale


The appeal of a shorter testing time makes a computer adaptive testing approach highly desirable for use in multiple assessment and learning contexts. However, for those who have been tasked with designing, configuring, and deploying adaptive tests for operational use at scale, preparing an adaptive test is anything but simple. The process often involves a complex interplay among psychometricians, content experts, and technologists who operate with different vocabularies and subject matter expertise. This paper presents the authors’ experience of developing smart platforms for designing, configuring, and deploying adaptive assessments. We present six design principles for the development of such systems. Through an example of an authoring system now used in production, we discuss smart feedback loops built into the system and how they support efficient iteration. We conclude that it is not possible to overstate the importance of process transition support when launching smart platforms, and that a thoughtful and integrated user experience that allows each of the people in the process to work in a context most accessible to them given their background and experience yields substantial business value.

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The authors are grateful to Dr. Sara Vispoel for her thoughtful review and comments during the preparation of this paper.

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Correspondence to Michelle D. Barrett.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article belongs to the Topical Collection: Creating and improving adaptive learning: Smart authoring tools and processes

Guest Editors: Stephen B. Gilbert, Andrew M. Olney and Kelly Rivers

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Barrett, M.D., Jiang, B. & Feagler, B.E. A Smart Authoring System for Designing, Configuring, and Deploying Adaptive Assessments at Scale. Int J Artif Intell Educ 32, 28–47 (2022).

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