Vol. 4. No. 4 A-2 December 2000
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Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something....: Piloting a Computer Mediated Version of the Michigan Listening Comprehension Test

Greta J. Gorsuch
Texas Tech University

Tom Cox
Texas Tech University


When commercially produced proficiency tests are used to make decisions such as exemption from or retention in language programs, it is necessary to conduct analyses on the test data at the local level. The purpose of such analyses is to identify and estimate sources of measurement error. In other words, we must investigate the extent to which we can trust students' results on the test. This report recounts the use of a computer mediated proficiency test in an intensive international teaching assistant workshop. Both traditional raw score analyses and item response theory analyses done on the test data are described in detail. They indicated that for reasons related to the test itself and to the computer mediated version of it, the test was not suitable for making exemption and retention decisions with this particular group of students in this particular program.


Keywords: ESL, EFL, testing, English, proficiency, computer-mediated testing, CMT


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