Certification: Item Bank
In order to maintain the integrity of the Lamaze International Certification Item Bank and to ensure that parallel banks are maintained in English and Spanish, this policy establishes clear, uniform procedures to be followed when using the Item Bank.
The Certification Council Governing Body has overall responsibility for ensuring the integrity of the Lamaze International Certification Item Bank. The Certification Exam Consultant is responsible for managing the item bank, which includes coordination with the Psychometric Consultant on the computerized item bank. The Certification Program Assistant/Coordinator is responsible for carrying out the day-to-day tasks related to the item bank.
Item Bank Description
The Lamaze International Certification Item Bank is housed in exam SYSTEM software. There are two item banks, one in English and one in Spanish. These two banks are parallel, meaning that they are comprised of identical items, and that these items are numbered identically in each bank.
Use of the Item Bank
A usage log is maintained to track each time the item bank is accessed and to indicate if it is frozen to further use while it is being manipulated by the Psychometric Consultant. The individual accessing the item bank must note their name, date, and purpose of their item bank use, and indicate if the item bank is currently frozen.
An individual is only able to work in the item bank when the item bank is not frozen. Freezing occurs when the item bank is copied on to disk and then sent to the Psychometric Consultant. Only the Psychometric Consultant can then manipulate the item bank in any way. Any changes made to the item bank when it is frozen will be eliminated when the updated disk is received from the Psychometric Consultant and uploaded. When one item bank is frozen, the second is not necessarily frozen at the same time. Each item bank has independent files- if the files for one item bank are copied, then the other item bank is not frozen. However, if both bank files are copied, both item banks are frozen.
Each new item is assigned a unique number upon entry into the item bank. The MPI weights are set separately for each item. The MPI weights are set by the Exam Development Committee or the ad hoc exam construction subcommittee.
Item statistics will be updated with each subsequent exam administration. Statistics may be generated on specific exams but not on the bank as a whole.
Statistics are unique to each bank. At no time should the statistics of one bank be overwritten to the other bank.
If it is decided that a question requires extensive edits, this question will be retired from use and a new question written which reflects the needed edits.
Items will not be deleted, rather they will be retired from use.
Copying the Item Bank
Prior to copying the Item Bank files, the byte size of the files must be noted. Once the files have been copied, the byte size of the files must be compared to ensure that all files were copied correctly. The byte size for the files should be identical before and after copying.
Maintaining Parallel Item Banks
In order to maintain parallel item banks, when a question is entered into one item bank, it must be simultaneously entered into the other item bank. This often means that questions written in English are entered into the Spanish item bank. These items will be translated at a later date. It is also probable that there will be questions asked on one exam which would not be appropriate to the other exam, however, to maintain parallel banks the questions must be entered into both banks. If questions are not entered simultaneously into each bank, the same item will then be assigned different numbers, making the task of pulling together an exam unnecessarily complicated. Because MPI weights are set separately for each item, it is possible that the same item will have a different MPI in each language bank.
At no time should the statistics of one bank be overwritten to the other bank. Since statistics are unique to each item bank, statistics will be deleted as questions are translated into the foreign language.
Until all questions are translated, the statistics for the Spanish item bank will be incomplete. They will be updated with each exam administration.
If major edits are made to a question, a note should be made to the other bank that the question has been updated and should be reviewed again so that the translation may be updated accordingly.
If the Exam Development Committee writes new questions to the English bank, these questions should also be entered into the Spanish bank and then sent for review and translation to the Spanish subcommittee.
If the Spanish subcommittee edits or writes new questions for the Spanish item bank, copies of the question in both English and Spanish must be returned to the Administrative Office so that the questions may be entered into both banks.
If an item is deleted from one item bank, it must be deleted from the other simultaneously in order to maintain a parallel sequence of questions in the two item banks.
In order to maintain the integrity of the Lamaze International Certification Item Bank, any questions not answered in this policy or the documentation accompanying the software, should be directed to the Certification Exam Consultant, the Psychometric Consultant or the Psychometric Consultant’s Assistant.
Drafted: March, 1996
Approved: July, 1996