A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE EFFECTS OF COMPUTER ANXIETY AND COMPUTER EXPERIENCE ON THE COMPUTER-BASED ACHIEVEMENT TEST PERFORMANCE OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
 
Konya, S.H., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
 
This study tested the effects of computer anxiety and computer experience on the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) performance of high school students. Affordable and user-friendly computer technology has made it possible to administer achievement examinations on computers. However, the effects of this recent technology on test-mode equivalence are not certain. One hundred four students were randomly assigned to one of four counterbalanced conditions: CBT:PPT, PPT:CBT, CBT:CBT, or PPT:PPT. Subjects completed either a computer or paper version of the SAT and the Computer Anxiety Rating Scale on the first administration day and a corresponding version of the SAT and Computer Experience Scale on the second administration day. Results indicated that computer versions of paper tests can be developed that are psychometrically similar to paper tests in student rank-order, regardless of level of computer anxiety or previous computer experience. There were, however, statistically significant differences among treatment conditions on the number of items skipped and the number of items answered incorrectly, favoring the students completing the PPT version. Neither computer anxiety nor computer experience were significant factors in computerized test performance. Results also revealed a practice effect, with participants scoring higher on the second administration regardless of version. CBT versions of P& tests provide ease of administrations and, when designed carefully, can be user-friendly. It appears that these advantages can be achieved without increasing measurement error. Factors influencing student performance as well as issues for future study are addressed.