Looking at the Task Type CONNECT

Differentiating between the interactions available for LINK

The following question is addressed in this section: if you want to construct a test question which presents your candidates with a LINK task, how do you decide between the interactions available?  


The LANGUAGE differentiator

Probably the main difference between the four interactions used for LINK is the way in which the possible responses are presented: two of them are presented in text form (Match and Associate), and two (Graphic Match and Graphic Associate) are presented using images.

Indeed, when we plot these interaction types on the LANGUAGE spectrum as follows:

We can see that there is one pair located at each end of the spectrum. This gives us an indicator when choosing between the two types of interaction (graphic vs non-graphic) for a particular test question of the type LINKING.



The other main factor which will influence your decision on which interaction to use for your test question is how you wish to present the choices to the candidates: if you want to divide them into two distinct sets, or not. As mentioned in the last section, this is the main difference between the Match interactions (graphic or non-graphic) and the Associate interactions (again, either graphic or non-graphic). 

To recap: in the two Match interactions, there are two distinct sets of elements, and linking can only take place between these sets. By contrast, the elements in both of the Associate interactions form a pool, within which arbitrary links can be made.

In conclusion, there are two main indicators when choosing between these four interactions for a particular test question of the type LINK: firstly, whether you want a language-based question or not, and secondly, whether the choices candidates are presented with are divided into two distinct sets of elements, or presented in a pool.