Exam 2: What to study for it.
Chapters 7-12



·        You will need to know well the concepts of reliability and validity. Everything we talked about for the last four weeks was meant to help you enhance the validity of your tests, and reliability is an essential prerequisite for validity.

·        Entries A2 and A3 below are very important. There are lots of questions about them because there are many item types to compare.




A. TYPES of test items:

1.      definitions/forms/varieties within categories (objective-subjective; selection-supply; T/F, MC, etc.),

2.      principles for selecting one item type over another (relevance, reliability, etc.),

3.      similarities and differences (form/freedom, purpose in using, advantages/limitations).


B. Principles/problems in CONSTRUCTING items:

1.       Short-answer, completion, T/F, matching (compared to more complex items)

2.      MC-stems, distracters,

3.      Interpretive--intro, items, keys,

4.      RR, ER essays,

5.      RR, ER performance tasks,

6.      How to avoid common threats to validity (all the principles for B1-B5 get at this issue!)


C. Principles for SCORING items:

1.      selection type—do weighting or corrections for guessing? Answer: Experts differ somewhat, but your instructor’s and textbook’s answer is “no.” Just give students plenty of time to take the test so they can finish all the items.

2.      rubrics for essays, performance tasks: (a) types (holistic, analytic), (b) principles for developing/using, (c) impact on reliability and validity

3.      rating scales and checklists for performance tasks: (a) types of (product vs. process; behaviorally anchored, numerical, etc.), (b) types of systematic rater errors (generosity, halo, etc.), (c) principles for reducing errors (use rubrics, cover names, etc.)



1.      definition, uses/purposes (assessment, instruction, communication, etc.)

2.      4 distinctions in emphasis (assessment vs. instruction, finished vs. working, accomplishment vs. progress, showcase vs. documentation) and how they relate to differences in purpose

3.      strengths and weaknesses relative to other forms of assessment

4.      specifying guidelines for entries and student role in selecting them