Question Difficulty Level is an important factor in determining assessment outcome. Accurate mapping of the difficulty levels in question banks offers a wide range of benefits apart from higher assessment quality: improved personalized learning, adaptive testing, automated question generation, and cheating detection. Adopting unsupervised machine learning techniques, we propose an efficient method derived from assessment responses to enhance consistency and accuracy in the assignment of question difficulty levels. We show effective feature extraction is achieved by partitioning test takers based on their test-scores. We validate our model using a large dataset collected from a two thousand student university-level proctored assessment. Preliminary results show our model is effective, achieving mean accuracy of 84% using instructor validation. We also show the model’s effectiveness in flagging mis-calibrated questions. Our approach can easily be adapted for a wide range of applications in e-learning and e-assessments. © Springer International Publishing AG 2017.
cited By ; Conference of 17th International Conference on Computational Science and Its Applications, ICCSA 2017 ; Conference Date: 3 July 2017 Through 6 July 2017; Conference Code:195069
S. Narayanan, Kommuri, V. S., Subramanian, N. S., Bijlani, K., and Nair, N. C., “Unsupervised learning of question difficulty levels using assessment responses”, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), vol. 10404 LNCS, pp. 543-552, 2017.