It is currently not entirely clear to what degree the research on multidimensional computerized adaptive testing (CAT) conducted in the field of educational testing can be generalized to fields such as health assessment, where CAT design factors differ considerably from those typically used in educational testing. In this study, the impact of a number of important design factors on CAT performance is systematically evaluated, using realistic example item banks for two main scenarios: health assessment (polytomous items, small to medium item bank sizes, high discrimination parameters) and educational testing (dichotomous items, large item banks, small- to medium-sized discrimination parameters). Measurement efficiency is evaluated for both between-item multidimensional CATs and separate unidimensional CATs for each latent dimension. In this study, we focus on fixed-precision (variable-length) CATs because it is both feasible and desirable in health settings, but so far most research regarding CAT has focused on fixed-length testing. This study shows that the benefits associated with fixed-precision multidimensional CAT hold under a wide variety of circumstances.
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