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Title: The impact of computer interface design on Saudi students' performance on a L2 reading test
Author: Korevaar, Serge
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 3669
Awarding Body: University of Bedfordshire
Current Institution: University of Bedfordshire
Date of Award: 2015
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This study investigates the effect of testing mode on lower-level Saudi Arabian test-takers’ performance and cognitive processes when taking an L2 reading test on computer compared to its paper-based counterpart from an interface design perspective. An interface was developed and implemented into the computer-based version of the L2 reading test in this study, which was administered to 102 Saudi Arabian University students for quantitative analyses and to an additional eighteen for qualitative analyses. All participants were assessed on the same L2 reading test in two modes on two separate occasions in a within-subject design. Statistical tests such as correlations, group comparisons, and item analyses were employed to investigate test-mode effect on test-takers’ performance whereas test-takers’ concurrent verbalizations were recorded when taking the reading test to investigate their cognitive processes. Strategies found in both modes were compared through their frequency of occurrence. In addition, a qualitative illustration of test-takers cognitive behavior was given to describe the processes when taking a lower-level L2 reading test. A mixed-method approach was adhered to when collecting data consisting of questionnaires think-aloud protocols, and post-experimental interviews as main data collection instruments. Results on test-takers’ performance showed that there was no significant difference between the two modes of testing on overall reading performance, however, item level analyses discovered significant differences on two of the test’s items. Further qualitative investigation into possible interface design related causes for these differences showed no identifiable relationship between test-takers’ performance and the computer-based testing mode. Results of the cognitive processes analyses showed significant differences in three out of the total number of cognitive processes employed by test-takers indicating that test-takers had more difficulties in processing text in the paper-based test than in the computer-based test. Both product and process analyses carried out further provided convincing supporting evidence for the cognitive validity, content validity, and context validity contributing to the construct validity of the computer-based test used in this study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: computer interface ; design ; Saudi Arabia ; L2 reading test ; Q330 English as a second language ; computer assisted language learning ; language testing ; language test taking