Visual Displays of Test Fraud Data

Authored by: Brett P. Foley

Handbook of Quantitative Methods for Detecting Cheating on Tests

Print publication date:  October  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138821804
eBook ISBN: 9781315743097
Adobe ISBN: 9781317588108


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As the stakes associated with tests increase, so too does the pressure to gain an unfair advantage through fraudulent means. Testing professionals have come to view test security and fraud detection as integral components in evaluating the validity of the intended uses and interpretations of test scores (Adams, 2014). Because of the importance of the issue, a great deal of research has been done on methods of fraud detection (see, for example, Kingston & Clark, 2014; Wollack & Fremer, 2013; other chapters in this volume). Many of the developed methods for test fraud detection depend on sophisticated quantitative techniques. However, the effectiveness of these methods will be limited if the information they contain cannot be effectively conveyed to stakeholders (e.g., administrators of testing programs, examinees, licensure boards) and other consumers of test security investigation results (e.g., the public, judges/juries, ethics panels). Many users of test fraud data likely will not have the technical expertise to fully understand the underlying mathematics of many of the quantitative methods for fraud detection that may be implemented. However, we believe that those involved with test fraud investigations have an ethical obligation to present results in ways that are accessible to the consumers of these investigations. To that end, research has shown that one way to reduce the cognitive burden associated with the interpretation of quantitative data is through the effective use of visual displays (e.g., Pastor & Finney, 2013).

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