Supporting divergent and convergent production of test items for teachers in higher education

Silvester Draaijer*, Judith Schoonenboom, Jos Beishuizen, Lambertus Schuwirth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Developing tests items for end-of-course tests in higher education is a recurring task for many teachers. Divergent production of test items is needed to create queries with original content, while convergent production is needed to design items that are clear and technically sound. Support for the test item design process, based on divergent and convergent production, could lead to better test items. An experiment to establish the extent to which the explicit application of diverging and converging support resulted in more and in more original test items and technically better test items was conducted in this study. The results showed an effect on the originality of the test items developed, but not on the technical quality of those items. The implications of these findings for test item design are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalThinking Skills and Creativity
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Test item writing
  • Test development
  • Assessment
  • Diverging
  • Converging
  • Creativity
  • Concept mapping

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