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  • McCray&Brunfaut2018

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Investigating the construct measured by banked gap-fill items: evidence from eye-tracking

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/01/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Language Testing
Issue number1
Volume35
Number of pages23
Pages (from-to)51-73
StatePublished
Early online date22/11/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This study investigates test-takers’ processing while completing banked gap-fill tasks, designed to test reading proficiency, in order to test theoretically based expectations about the variation in cognitive processes of test-takers across levels of performance. Twenty-eight test-takers’ eye traces on 24 banked gap-fill items (on six tasks) were analysed according to seven on-line eye-tracking measures representing overall, text and task processing. Variation in processing was related to test-takers’ level of performance on the tasks overall. In particular, as hypothesised, lower-scoring students exerted more cognitive effort on local reading and lower-level cognitive processing in contrast to test-takers who attained higher scores. The findings of different cognitive processes associated with variation in scores illuminate the construct measured by banked gap-fill items, and therefore have implications for test design and the validity of score interpretations.