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

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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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        The functions of multiple representations

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [ 1 ]Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, Kiel, Germany
            Author notes
            Marlit Annalena Lindner, Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, Olshausenstraße 62, 24118 Kiel, Germany, Tel. +49 431 880 4410, Fax +49 431 880 2629, mlindner@ 123456ipn.uni-kiel.de
            Contributors
            Journal
            jpa
            European Journal of Psychological Assessment
            Hogrefe Publishing
            1015-5759
            2151-2426
            October 7, 2016
            2016
            : -1
            : -1
            : 1-10
            jpa_a000351_-1_1
            10.1027/1015-5759/a000351
            Distributed under the Hogrefe OpenMind License (http://dx.doi.org/10.1027/a000001)
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            Self URI (journal-page): https://econtent.hogrefe.com/loi/jpa
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