Methods: The practicalities of an alternative method of standard setting are evaluated here, for the first time, with direct comparison to an Angoff method. To negate bias due to any leading effects, a prospective cross-over design was adopted involving two groups of judges (n=7 and n=8), both of which set the standards for the same two 100 item multiple choice question tests, by the two different methods.
Results: Overall, we found that the two methods took a similar amount of time to complete. The alternative method produced a higher cut-score (by 12-14%), and had a higher degree of variability between judges' cut-scores (by 5%). When using the alternative method, judges reported a small, but statistically significant, increase in their confidence to decide accurately the standard (by 3%).
Conclusion: This is a new approach to standard setting where the quantitative differences are slight, but there are clear qualitative advantages associated with use of the alternative method.
- standard setting