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Auto-Detection Versus Self-Report: Best Practices in Mobile Device Research

By Jessica R. Petor, Ted B. Kinney, Luye Chang, Amie D. Lawrence, and Don Moretti

Testing on mobile devices is becoming increasingly popular among test takers and organizations. A survey conducted by PEW Research Center in 2015 found that 64% of adults now own a smartphone of some kind, up from 35% in 2011 (PEW Research Center, 2015). Among those who own a smartphone, 18% have used their phone to submit a job application in the last year. This research coincides with Select International’s data that, in 2014, 17.2% of applicants used a tablet or smartphone to complete screening assessments. More interestingly, those with relatively low income, younger adults, and non-Whites are likely to be “smartphone-dependent;” 10% of Americans own a smartphone but do not have broadband at home, and 15 % own a smartphone but say they have limited options for going online other than their cell phone (Smith, 2015).  In addition to the growing number of individuals who have access to mobile technologies, the increase in technology advancement entices organizations to adopt unproctored Internet testing.1 These factors have contributed to the growing use of mobile devices in unproctored test administration. By allowing individuals to take assessments on mobile devices, organizations cannot only improve the diversity of their applicant pool (Kinney, Lawrence, & Chang, 2014) but also can lower assessment costs by reducing or eliminating the need for administrators (Arthur, Doverspike, Muñoz, Taylor, & Carr, 2014). …Continue reading in the current issue of TIP!


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