There's something a bit inconvenient about the way Lertap's Interpret option works. It will very often be the case that users will change the CCs lines, or add new ones, after Interpret and Elmillon have already been run. Once this is done, the Interpret option is again taken and, as it starts up, it announces that it's going to delete the worksheets created the first time.


This can be unnecessary and inconvenient at times. A special user run mode setting called "Elmillon direct" provides a way to stop Interpret from deleting worksheets. Read on to find out what this special setting does.


Let's say, for example, that a user has a 50-item multiple-choice cognitive test and has set up three CCs lines: *col, * sub, and *key.


After running the Interpret and Elmillon options, Lertap will have created several new worksheets, or reports. Among them will be sheets called "Scores", "Stats1f", "Stats1b", and "Stats1ul". The "1" in these names refers to what Lertap calls the first "subtest" -- there will always be one Lertap "subtest" for each *col line found in the CCs lines.


Behind the scenes, hidden from view, Lertap will also have created another worksheet with very detailed subtest information. It will be called "Sub1". This is a vital worksheet generally meaningful only to Lertap itself -- were you to look at Sub1 you might not sense its value. It might appear rather mysterious to you, but to Lertap it's truly vital. Sub1 is created as the Interpret option goes about its business. Elmillon will not work if Sub1 cannot be found.


Read more about these worksheets and Lertap's internal goings-on at the very readable and recommended "Lertap output" topic.


Now, suppose something arises to cause the user to add another set of *col, *sub, and *key lines. There may have been a mis-keyed item in the first *key line, for example, and it's desired to see the effect of correcting the error without erasing the initial results. Or, perhaps a user wishes to run the same subtest through Interpret and Elmillon but with a mastery test setting added to the *sub line; the mastery analysis is wanted in addition to the initial analysis.


In both of these scenarios users will end up with two sets of *col, *sub, and *key lines. In each set, the *col lines may be the same, but there will be differences in the *sub lines, where new name=() and title=() settings are likely to be used, and, in the second scenario, a mastery= setting will be inserted in the *sub line. The *key line will change in the first scenario as one item will be re-keyed.


Okay? What have we got? In each of these two examples, as mentioned, there will now be two *col lines. Ready, set, go: the user clicks on Interpret -- in "normal" user run mode, Interpret erases all results previous obtained. In the "Elmillon direct" mode it does not. Instead it points to each of the *col lines and asks the user if the corresponding subtest is to be re-processed. If it's the first *col line, the first subtest, and the user says "No, I don't want you to process this again", then Interpret leaves the Stats1f, Stats1b, Stats1ul, and Sub1 sheets as they were; it doesn't overwrite them.


What's the big deal here, what's the advantage? Time. In large datasets, with thousands of Data records and many test items, it takes time for Interpret and Elmillon to do their jobs -- sometimes more than two or three minutes (one of the "tidbits" below has time-trial data). Skipping over the first subtest will save time. Additional time will be saved by users who have created quantile plots by using the "Res. charts" options. Such plots take extra time to make, and users may have invested additional work by adjusting page margins so that the plots look better when printed (refer to this document for related comments).


This work will be lost if the Interpret option is taken again. Unless, that is, the "user run mode" option is set to "Elmillon direct mode". Page to the following topic to read about how to set the Elmillon direct option, and how to use it.


Related tidbits:


The user run mode setting is found in Lertap versions and later. Look here to see how to determine version numbers. Users with a version of Lertap purchased from Assessment Systems Corporation may be eligible for a special upgrade.


Click here to branch out to a document with time trials.


The "Elmillon direct" run mode was a feature in earlier versions of Lertap 5 where it was know as the "Liberty Bell" option. It was resurrected early in the year 2016 after requests from users.