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PSY 4550 W4 Assignment Test Scoring and Analysis

PSY 4550 W4 Assignment Test Scoring and Analysis


The traditional approach to assessment of student learning is formal testing. Still the most widely used of all methods of assessment, testing has been the center of discussion and debate among educators for years. The topic of testing includes a large body information, some of which will be discussed in the upcoming section. Basically, testing consists of four primary steps: test construction, test administration, scoring and analyzing the test. Each of these steps can result in a variety of test forms and elicit a variety of useful outcomes, such as:

° Ideas for lesson plans
° Knowledge of individual students
° Ideas for approaching different students/classes
° Scores for admission
° Indication of teacher effectiveness

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Writing items Once purpose, topics and types of questions have been determined, the teacher is ready to begin writing the specific parts, or items, of the test. Initially, more items should be written than will be included on the test. When writing items, the following guidelines are followed:

° Cover important material No item should be included on
. a test unless it covers a fact, concept, skill or applied principle that is relevant to the information covered in class (see 3. Listing Types of Questions above).

Items should be independent. The answer to one item should not be found in another item; correctly answering one item should not be dependent on correctly answering a previous item. (This guideline might not apply in some cases. For example, a math test might begin by testing simple skills and then test their integration. In all cases, the teacher should be aware of what is being tested at each level and use this strategy sparingly).

° Write simply and clearly. Use only terms and examples students will understand and eliminate all nonfunctional words.

° Be sure students know how to respond. The item should define the task clearly enough that students who understand the material will know what type of answer is required and how to record their answers. For example, on essay questions, the teacher may specify the length and scope of the answer required.

° Include questions of varying difficulty. Tests should include at least one question that all students can answer and one that few, if any, can answer. Tests should be designed to go from the easiest to most difficult items so as not to immediately discourage the weaker students. (read Cross Cultural Considerations on page 148.)

° Be flexible. No one type of item is best for all situations or all types of material. Whenever feasible, any test should contain several types of items.

5. Reviewing items Regardless of how skilled the teacher is, not all his/her first efforts will be perfect or even acceptable. It is therefore important to review all items, revising the good and eliminating the bad. Finally, all items should be evaluated in terms of purpose, standardization, validity, practicality, efficiency, and fairness (see 8. Evaluating a Test below).

6. Writing directions. Clear and concise directions should be written for each section. Whenever possible, an example of a correctly answered test item should be provided as a model. If there is any question as to the clarity of the directions, the teacher should “try them out” on someone else before giving the exam.

7. Devising a scoring key. While the test items are fresh in his/her mind, the teacher should make a scoring key — a list of correct responses, acceptable variations, and weights assigned to each response (see Scoring below). In order to assure representative sampling, all items should be assigned values at this time. For example, if “factoring” comprised 50% of class material to be tested and only 25% of the total number of test questions, each question should be assigned double value.

8. Evaluating A Teat. All methods of assessing student learning should achieve the same thing: the clear, consistent and systematic measurement of a behavior or something that is learned. Once a test has been constructed, it should be reviewed to ensure that it meets six specific criteria: clarity, consistency, validity, practicality, efficiency, and fairness.

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