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Abstract

Online courses have created a different testing environment. A test in an online setting can be easily presented in multiple modes (i.e., all at once, one at a time). However, there are no established guidelines to date on how the test presentation modes should be used in an online test. Using a sample of sixty-five undergraduate students, this study examined if test presentation modes (i.e., all at once, one at a time), student self-perceived learning styles (i.e., surface style, deep style), and types of test problems (i.e., factual/conceptual questions, applied questions) have an effect on student achievement in four unit tests. Findings from one-way MANOVA and repeated measures ANOVAs revealed that test presentation modes alone did not influence student test performance. However, when the variables of student self-perceived learning styles and types of test problems were added, students with a surface style scored significantly higher on the factual/conceptual problems in the one-at-a-time test presentation mode than in the all-at-once test presentation mode. No significant differences were found for students with a deep style in test performance based upon test presentation modes and types of questions. This study suggests test presentation modes can be set according to students’ learning styles. Students with a surface style may benefit from the one-at-a-time test presentation mode over time. Furthermore, it is recommended that technical issues and test security should be considered in determining an optimal test presentation mode.

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