Teaching/Discipline

Psychology in Action

Test Construction


Types


Knowledge-based (knowing what)

Performance-based (knowing how)

1.    multiple choice
2.    matching
3.    true-false
4.    multiple correct
5.    fill-in-the-blank
6.    completion
1.  performances
2.  portfolios
3.  demonstrations



Performance based assessment


Attributes


Problems

LayoutLogically organized according to the attributes of the task. Provides a placeholder for students' name(s). Spacing works well. Title identifies purpose and uses of the assessment.Disorganized. Elements may flow better if reorganized. Needs to follow a more logical sequence. Needs a  place for students' name(s). Purpose of the assessment must be evident.
Performance attributes.Each attribute is an important part of the final performance.Irrelevant attributes are identified. Needs more attributes.
ObjectivityProvides objective, specific information to the learner on ways to improve his or her performance.Needs to define attributes with more objectivity or precision. Learners need to know precisely what to do to improve their performance.
Discriminates excellenceAn excellent score indicates an excellent performance. A poor score indicates a poor performance.An excellent score may be obtained even though the performance is weak. A poor score may be obtained even though the performance is excellent.
Reliability


Different people using the same assessment evaluate the same performance approximately the same. The same person using the same assessment evaluates the same performance in the same way on different occasions.Different people using the same assessment evaluate the same performance differently. The same person using the same assessment evaluates the same performance differently on different occasions

Constructing a multiple-choice test

1)  Plan items

•    Align with content

•    Determine level (fact, application of a rule, solving a problem)


2) Write the STEM

•    Direct questions (preferred) or incomplete statements

•    Use the stem to present a problem

•    Keep it clear and simple

•    If using an exception use NOT or EXCEPT


3)  Write alternatives

•    Keep them brief

•    Make them agree grammatically with the stem

•    Avoid clues

•    Keep alternatives similar in form

•    Avoid “all of the above” or “none of the above”

•    Place each item on a separate line

•    Make sure there is only one best answer

•    Limit to four or, at most, five alternatives

•    Randomly distribute the correct answer, with approximately the same number of As, Bs, Cs and Ds

•    Use capital letters to distinguish alternatives


4)  Writing distractors

•    Alternatives that are incorrect but distracting to someone who hasn’t learned

•    Use common errors and misunderstandings

•    Create plausible distractors


5)  Sequencing

•    Follow the organization of the lesson or class


6)  Long term considerations

•    Develop a test bank

•    Review responses to questions and refine to build reliability and validity of items

•    Some conscientious teachers prepare test items after each class.  (This is helpful since most syllabi tend to be optimistic, and every class responds differently.)



Questions to Ask



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