Computer Simulation Performance Testing: Implementation Issues

D.J. Pucel and L.D. Anderson (USA)


Performance, Testing, Simulations, Certification, Ophthalmic


This paper presents insights into the implementation of computer simulations as a vehicle for testing a person’s ability to perform psychomotor tasks. They result from two years of implementation of a set of international certification tests for ophthalmic technicians within the United States and Canada. The original development of these tests was presented at the CATE meeting in Rhodes in 2003 (paper 402-158). Experience has shown that the development and implementation of simulations for evaluation purposes are substantially different than the use of simulations for instruction. Also, the preparation of people to take computer-based skill performance tests requires tutorial instruction that is clearly different from the creation of typical computer usage documentation. A comparison of performance data gathered from equivalent live hands-on testing and the computer simulation testing of the same skills revealed differences, which can be partially attributed to the ability of computer simulations to increase assessment precision. Consideration needed to be given to the precision level actually required on the job as a scoring guideline rather than maximizing assessment precision to that possible with computer scoring.

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