During the past two or three decades, research in cognitive science and psychology has yielded an improved understanding of the fundamental psychological nature of knowledge and cognitive skills that psychological testing attempts to measure. These theories have reached sufficient maturity, making it reasonable to look upon them to provide a sound theoretical foundation for assessment, particulary for the content of assessments. This fact, combined with much discontentedness over current testing practices, has inspired efforts to bring testing and cognitive theory together to create a new theoretical framework for psychological testing -- a framework developed for diagnosing learners' differences rather than for ranking learners based on their differences.
This volume presents some initial accomplishments in the effort to bring testing and cognitive theory together. Contributors originate from both of the relevant research communities -- cognitive research and psychometric theory. Some represent collaborations between representatives of the two communities; others are efforts to reach out in the direction of the other community. Taking fundamentally different forms, psychometric test theory assumes that knowledge can be represented in terms of one or at most a few dimensions, whereas modern cognitive theory typically represents knowledge in networks -- either networks of conceptual relationships or the transition networks of production systems.
Cognitively diagnostic assessment is a new enterprise and it is evident that many challenging problems remain to be addressed. Still, it is already possible to develop highly productive interactions between assessment and instruction in both automated tutoring systems and more conventional classrooms. The editors hope that the chapters presented here show how the reform of assessment can take a rigorous path.
Contents: Preface. S.F. Chipman, P.D. Nichols, R.L. Brennan, Introduction. A.T. Corbett, J.R. Anderson, A.T. O'Brien, Student Modeling in the ACT Programming Tutor. R.J. Mislevy, Probability-Based Inference in Cognitive Diagnosis. D.H. Gitomer, L.S. Steinberg, R.J. Mislevy, Diagnostic Assessment of Troubleshooting Skill in an Intelligent Tutoring System. K.L. Draney, P. Pirolli, M. Wilson, A Measurement Model for a Complex Cognitive Skill. T.A. Polk, K. VanLehn, D. Kalp, ASPM2: Progress Toward the Analysis of Symbolic Parameter Models. J. Martin, K. VanLehn, A Bayesian Approach to Cognitive Assessment. G. Biswas, S.R. Goldman, D. Fisher, B. Bhuva, G. Glewwe, Assessing Design Activity in Complex CMOS Circuit Design. D. DuBois, V.L. Shalin, Adapting Cognitive Methods to Real-World Objectives: An Application to Job Knowledge Testing. P.J. Johnson, T.E. Goldsmith, K.W. Teague, Similarity, Structure, and Knowledge: A Representational Approach to Assessment. B.K. Britton, P. Tidwell, Cognitive Structure Testing: A Computer System for Diagnosis of Expert-Novice Differences. M. Naveh-Benjamin, Y-G. Lin, W.J. McKeachie, Inferring Students' Cognitive Structures and Their Development Using the "Fill-in-the-Structure" (FITS) Technique. J.E. Corter, Using Clustering Methods to Explore the Structure of Diagnostic Tests. K.K. Tatsuoka, Architecture of Knowledge Structures and Cognitive Diagnosis: A Statistical Pattern Recognition and Classification Approach. L.V. DiBello, W.F. Stout, L.A. Roussos, Unified Cognitive/Psychometric Diagnostic Assessment Likelihood-Based Classification Techniques. F. Samejima, A Cognitive Diagnosis Method Using Latent Trait Models: Competency Space Approach and Its Relationship With DiBello and Stout's Unified Cognitive-Psychometric Diagnosis Model. E. Hunt, Where and When to Represent Students This Way and That Way: An Evaluation of Approaches to Diagnostic Assessment. S.P. Marshall, Some Suggestions for Alternative Assessments.