Last week I participated in a fascinating Transforming Assessment webinar on ‘The semi-automatic generation of assessment items: objectives, challenges, and perspectives’ . The presenter was Muriel Foulonneau from the Henri Tudor Research Centre, Luxembourg, and I was left feeling very much an amateur in a ‘room’ full of very clever professionals. The way in which assessment items and distractors are automatically generated is really very clever – with my ‘day job’ and so many wide-ranging interests in assessment, I feel I will never be able to keep up with what is going on.
However I was absolutely amazed to discover that one of the drivers for this work is the cost of producing test items – $1500-$2500 per item. How so? We are only talking about simple multiple-choice items here, how can it possibly cost that much?