Future Developments Of Webbased Assessment Methods

The previous sections of this chapter illustrated that Web-based methods offer a number of advantages to psychological assessment. The field has evolved enough to develop techniques and applications that allow for a smooth flow of the Web-based assessment process and secure the researcher with a good quality of data. Therefore, Web-based methods are inevitably being used in psychological research with much frequency during recent years. The Web experiment list, for instance, now provides more than 300 Web studies (Reips & Lengler, 2005). With continued spread of knowledge of these methods and their integration into curricula, we will see a further increase in their professional use.

Apart from an increase in use and professionalism, a future trend of Web-based methods may be the development of more specialized Web-based methods in psychological assessment. Because many traditional methodological paradigms can somehow be transformed into a Web-based version, and the advantages are so appealing, we will likely see many more of these special applications.

The rapid development of Web technology and the spread of knowledge regarding its characteristics among psychologists ensures that Web-based methods will strongly impact the way psychological assessment will be conducted in the future. The unending possibilities offered by this branch of media will perhaps be the beginning of a new era for psychological assessment and research.

equivalent. Advances in response action include drag-and-drop and voice recognition of oral responses.

Media inclusion refers to all non-text-based test media. Examples include the use of high-resolution color images on a test of dermatological skin disorders (Ackerman et al., 1999), sound clips on a computerized test of musical aptitude (Vispoel, 1999), and full-motion video to assess conflict resolution skills (Olson-Buchanan et al., 1998).

Degree of interactivity pertains to the degree to which a test reacts in response to the test-taker. The degree of interactivity can range from a total lack of interactivity, much akin to static paper-and-pencil tests, to highly fluid computer simulations that are much like today's video games.

Scoring method is closely tied to item format and response action. Scoring constructed responses is challenging because there may be more than one suitable answer or answers may vary in their degree of correctness or incorrectness (e.g., essays and architectural designs). Consequently, there has been much interest in the development of scoring algorithms for innovative item types (e.g., Bennett, Steffen, Singley, Morley, &Jacquemin, 1997).

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