STARK Assessments

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Are you asking the right questions but getting the wrong answers?

STARK Assessments is a subsidiary of Rudolph Associates Incorporated that focuses on knowledge testing, and survey design. Our first product is MUSET, our patented knowledge assessment technology. It is designed to replace traditional multiple-choice tests.

MUSET addresses the inherent limitations of multiple-choice testing. Multiple-choice tests are generally perceived to be easy to construct, valid tools for measuring knowledge. In truth they are difficult to develop and limited in their ability to make informed decisions. A well-constructed multiple-choice test item must start with a clearly written question that is devoid of bias for or against individuals from the many suspect classes – race, ethnicity, sex, etc. Its construction must include a list of four alternative answers where one is clearly correct and three others that are not correct but are equally attractive to individuals who do not know the answer. After all of this effort to develop these test items, the act of selecting the correct answer from a list of four alternatives does not demonstrate a very deep understanding. In addition, there is a one-in-four chance of guessing the answer, creating a fog of uncertainty as to whether the test-takers actually know the answer.

So how does MUSET address these limitations? The answers are spelled out is its name:

Multi-level – There are several different levels of questions available.

User Selectable – The test starts with the most challenging level of question. Test-takers have the option to either answer the question presented, or switch to a less difficult, lower value test item. For example, the first level presented might be "Who invented the Cotton Gin?" with a space provided to type in their answer. If they are unsure of the answer, there is a button that allows them to switch to a multiple-choice format – "Which of these four individuals invented the Cotton Gin?" If they are still unsure, they can switch to a true/false format – Thomas Edison invented the Cotton Gin (True or False). Please note that the examples presented here do not include the true/false option.

Enhanced Testing – In addition to including multiple format for answers, when test-taker choose to switch to a multiple-choice or true/false format, they are required to indicate their level of confidence that their answer is correct (100%, 75%, 50%, or just guessing). This allows test-takers to hedge their bet. If they choose 50% and are incorrect, they lose just half of the point value of the question. If they choose "Just Guessing" they receive zero points. The instructions included in MUSET ensure that test-takers are aware of these consequences, and when appropriate, will choose "Just Guessing". This eliminates the concern that test-takers may have guessed the correct answer.

As you will see, MUSET technology turns traditional, one-dimensional knowledge assessments into multi-dimensional profiles. If your organization uses assessments to screen job candidates, identify high performers, or assess learning needs, MUSET will greatly improve your success while saving you time and resources.