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Re: Item Banking Software?



Here is my google search on the subject

And here is an easy-to-read article behind the concept. I use Microtest
myself to "bank" items for tests with my students. The software also allows
you to print different versions of the same test with different answer keys
for grading, etc.

This column is intended to serve as a forum for sharing useful tips on
making more productive use of microcomputers. If you have a tip that you
feel may be of use to campus users, submit it to the Benchmarks Editor for
possible inclusion in a future issue.

Measurement Analysis

By Randall E. Schumacker, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Educational Research,
Department of Technology and Cognition

Faculty, instructors, and teaching fellows who teach courses and evaluate
student progress can now take advantage of low cost, easy-to-use software
for item banking, test construction, and test item analysis. The item
banking and item analysis software run on an IBM or IBM-compatible personal
computer. Software features and an address to obtain the software are

Item Banking

Item banking serves a useful function for the storage and retrieval of test
questions. It is gaining popularity among textbook publishers who now
furnish a text, instructor's manual, student workbook, and an item banking
software diskette. The item banking software typically contains the
objectives and items for each chapter or unit of instruction.

An important aspect of item banking, inherent in the item banking software
publishers provide, is that it permits the matching of items with objectives
and learning levels based upon Bloom's taxonomy. This information is
commonly outlined in a table of test specifications. At the university
level, a course syllabus and/or a list of objectives for each unit of
instruction and test period, generally serves the same purpose.

The item banking software for an IBM or compatible personal computer most
often used by textbook publishers is MicroTest III. It costs $95.00 and is
available from:

Chariot Software
3659 India Street Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 298-0202

The software is menu driven and contains several handy features. Over 1,000
items can be entered. Items can also be edited and previewed on screen.
Several types of questions can be entered: multiple choice, true/false,
matching, essay, sentence completion, and short answer. In addition, item
difficulty, item linking, and a correct answer can be entered for each
question. The items can be scored dichotomously (0,1) or involve Likert
(multi-point) responses. Therefore survey questionnaire data can also be

The software permits up to three different versions of the same test to be
created and printed. When randomly selecting items for a test, the software
prevents duplicate questions from being selected. Various print format
options are also available when creating a test. An answer key for a test is
also printed.

You can save the questions and answer key in a separate diskette file. This
is handy, for example, if you wish to use WordPerfect or another word
processing package and/or want to print on a printer which is not directly
connected to your computer. The use of other word processing packages makes
possible the use of graphical items, which is a limitation of the software.
Questions can also be extracted from one item bank into another item bank or
into an ASCII file.

Item Analysis

Item analysis provides the instructor with item and test summary
information. Item information that is generally required includes item
difficulty, item discrimination, percent response by option, and correct
answer. Test information instructors typically require is the number of
items, number of examinees, mean, standard deviation, median, internal
consistency reliability, standard error of measurement, and the
minimum/maximum scores. This information in conjunction with item banking is
useful in determining whether items fit the test and instructional
objectives. The test information helps determine norms, reliability, and
score interpretation.

Low-cost, easy-to-use item analysis software programs (ITEMAN, RASCAL,
ASCAL) for an IBM or compatible personal computer are available from:

Assessment Systems Corporation 2
233 University Avenue Suite 200
St. Paul, Minnesota 55114
(612) 647-9220 Telephone
(612) 647-0412 Fax
asc@mr.net E-mail

These programs are separately priced depending upon whether the instructor
desires classical true score, Rasch, or Item Response Theory analyses. I
would recommend using the classical true score theory item analysis program
unless you are familiar with latent trait theory and test construction. The
prices for each are as follows:

* ITEMAN $ 149.00 (Classical True Score)
* RASCAL $175.00 (Rasch)
* ASCAL $400.00 (Item Response)

The ITEMAN program and its features are easy to use and understand. The
program prompts the user for an input file, output file, score file, and an
exceptions file. The input file contains the students' item response scores.
This file can be edited in DOS and the 4 lines of ITEMAN program code
entered. The four lines of program code specify the following:

(Line 1) number of items, symbol for omitted items, symbol for not reached
items, and number of columns for student ID;

(Line 2) answer key;

(Line 3) number of response options;

(Line 4) which items to include and/or items that belong on different

The output file contains the results of the item analysis, the score file
contains students' scores, and the exceptions file permits you to re-analyze
the data and contains information on certain item numbers and options where
more than one response might be considered correct. It is handy to label
these files with appropriate extensions: test1.dat; test1.out; test1.scr;
and test1.exp, respectively.

The ITEMAN program is menu driven and easy to use. Items can be analyzed as
a complete set or as subscales. Individual summary statistics are
automatically printed for the entire set of items or each subscale. Subscale
intercorrelations are even printed. The manual and examples are easy to
follow and all terminology is clearly explained.

Academic Computing is providing access to the ITEMAN program which will
provide a printout with all the necessary item and test information. More
importantly, Data Entry has a scanner connected to a personal computer that
will scan NCS student answer sheets and create an ASCII data file which can
be used as the input file for ITEMAN (Call Data Entry at 565-3887 for

From: "George N. Schmidt" <Csubstance@AOL.COM>
Subject: Item Banking Software?

September 26, 2001

Hello Colleagues:

Does this ring any bells out there:


Last week, we continued depositions of Chicago officials as we organized our
defense in the $1.4 million "copyright infringement" lawsuit the Chicago
Board of Education brought against me and Substance in January 1999. The
will go to trial in federal court here on January 7, 2002. We'll be
on it every month from now on (with the October Substance in the mail by
Thursday, October 4).

During one deposition, the deponee mentioned that the Chicago Board of
Education had something called "Item Banking Software." The description said
that the stuff enabled the Board to create test items and bank them so that
the sorting and selecting of future items for use on future tests was

Anybody know about this stuff? Item Banking Software. What is it and what's
it do?

Although the Board of Education was supposed to provide us with all relevant
documents and things before we began discovery and depositions, it wasn't
until we were in the middle of our fifth deposition that we even learned
stuff existed -- and that Chicago owned it. (When somebody asks me how the
depositions went, I always say, "It's depressing to listen to people who are
either lying all the time or who have suddenly come down with situational

Thanks in advance for any help.

George N. Schmidt
Editor, Substance
5132 W. Berteau
Chicago, IL 60641

Phone: 773-725-7502
FAX: 773-725-7503