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Computer Versus Paper Testing in Precollege Economics


  • Roger B. Butters
  • William B. Walstad


Interest is growing at the precollege level in computer testing (CT) instead of paper-and-pencil testing (PT) for subjects in the school curriculum, including economics. Before economic educators adopt CT, a better understanding of its likely effects on test-taking behavior and performance compared with PT is needed. Using two volunteer student samples of CT and PT test scores collected as part of the field testing and national norming of the Test of Economic Knowledge (Walstad, Rebeck, and Butters 2010), the present authors investigated how CT and PT affect student test responses. The authors found that eighth- and ninth-grade students perform better with CT than PT, that CT has the potential to limit item guessing, and that CT may reduce item bias from the order of item placement on a test.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger B. Butters & William B. Walstad, 2011. "Computer Versus Paper Testing in Precollege Economics," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(4), pages 366-374, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:42:y:2011:i:4:p:366-374
    DOI: 10.1080/00220485.2011.606087

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