A Cost–Benefit Analysis for Developing Item Banks in Higher Education

  • Silvester DraaijerEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 1014)


Item banks in higher education can be regarded as important assets to increasing the quality of education and assessment. An item bank allows for the flexible administration of computer-based achievement tests for summative purposes, as well as quizzes for formative purposes. Developing item banks, however, can require quite an investment. A well-worked-out business case can help with convincing stakeholders to start an item bank development project. An important part of such a business case should be the increase in item quality and the estimated reduction in costs, particularly for the collaborative development of an item bank. However, a theoretical underpinning of a business case, incorporating considerations based on classical test theory is lacking in the literature. Therefore, a model is described to make estimations of reductions in misclassifications and per-unit costs. Examples are presented of the likelihood of reducing misclassifications and cost per unit based on findings in the literature. Implications for research and practice are discussed.


Item banking Question development Test development Educational measurement Economics Multiple-choice questions MCQs Higher education 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Department of Research and Theory in EducationVrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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