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      How Representational Pictures Enhance Students’ Performance and Test-Taking Pleasure in Low-Stakes Assessment

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      European Journal of Psychological Assessment

      Hogrefe Publishing Group

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          Abstract

          Abstract. Pictures are often used in standardized educational large-scale assessment (LSA), but their impact on test parameters has received little attention up until now. Even less is known about pictures’ affective effects on students in testing (i.e., test-taking pleasure and motivation). However, such knowledge is crucial for a focused application of multiple representations in LSA. Therefore, this study investigated how adding representational pictures (RPs) to text-based item stems affects (1) item difficulty and (2) students’ test-taking pleasure. An experimental study with N = 305 schoolchildren was conducted, using 48 manipulated parallel science items (text-only vs. text-picture) in a rotated multimatrix design to realize within-subject measures. Students’ general cognitive abilities, reading abilities, and background variables were assessed to consider potential interactions between RPs’ effects and students’ performance. Students also rated their item-solving pleasure for each item. Results from item-response theory (IRT) model comparisons showed that RPs only reduced item difficulty when pictures visualized information mandatory for solving the task, while RPs substantially enhanced students’ test-taking pleasure even when they visualized optional context information. Overall, our findings suggest that RPs have a positive cognitive and affective influence on students’ performance in LSA (i.e., multimedia effect in testing ) and should be considered more frequently.

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          Most cited references 26

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                European Journal of Psychological Assessment
                European Journal of Psychological Assessment
                Hogrefe Publishing Group
                1015-5759
                2151-2426
                October 07 2016
                October 07 2016
                :
                :
                : 1-10
                Article
                10.1027/1015-5759/a000351
                © 2016

                The Hogrefe OpenMind License is based on and identical to the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License Version 3.0. (The full Hogrefe OpenMind license has also been published as an open access article.)

                Nursing, Psychology, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Health & Social care

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