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Tips on How To Construct Valid and Reliable Assessment Instruments

Tips on How To Construct Valid and Reliable Assessment Instruments

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  • 1. Techniques In Constructing Examination Questions Presented By William M. Kapambwe - Senior Research Officer at the 2003 Grade 7 Item Writers’ Training Workshop River Motel-Kafue 14th to 20th December, 2003
  • 2. “ The Great Aim of Education is Not Knowledge But Action”
  • 3. Presentation Outline
    • Part 1: Introduction-Item/Objective Congruency.
    • Part 2: Assessment Options for Different Learning Domains.
    • Part 3: Constructing Objective Test Items- Types and Tips.
    • Part 4: Constructing Subjective Test Items- Types and Tips.
    • Part 5: Conclusion-Item/Objective Congruency and Item Review.
  • 4. Introduction:
    • Different techniques or test item formats can be used to construct questions.
    • Learning objective being tested determines type of technique to be used.
    • Matching test items to the syllabus = item/objective congruence .
  • 5. Assessment Options for Different Learning Domains
    • The three learning domains: cognitive , affective and psychomotor promote different learning objectives.
    • Consequently, different assessment techniques are utilised in order to assess the acquisition of the different learning objectives.
  • 6. Assessment Options for the Cognitive Domain
    • Assessed with tests, especially for measuring knowledge, comprehension, analysis and evaluation.
    • Written or Oral Tests.
    • Synthesis and Application: Specific tests such as essay tests are used.
    • Application: Listen to and observe pupil undertake performance.
  • 7. Assessment Options for the Affective Domain
    • Difficult to assess due to the personal and internal qualities of affect.
    • Inquiry/problem-solving commonly used.
    • Receiving : observations of learners’discussions and questionnaires.
    • Responding : observation of learners’ participation and interviews.
    • Valuing : Interviews, questionaiires and essays.
    • Organisation : Observation of learners’choices.
    • Characterisation : Learners’ responsibilities,projects and debates.
  • 8. Assessment Options for the Psychomotor
    • Hierarchy of difficulty levels ranging from reflex movements to skilled movements.
    • Levels generally assessed by observation of either behaviour or performance.
    • Observational data can be recorded as an anecdotal record, or by using ckecklists or rating scales.
  • 9. School-Based Continuous Assessment:Best Alternative for Affective and Psychomotor
    • Not all learning outcomes can be assessed by pencil and paper and within a short time.
    • Most learning outcomes in the affective and psychomotor can be observed by observations and recording over a long time.
    • Performance tasks are also assessed by observation.
  • 10. Constructing Objective Tests
    • Objective test questions are also referred to as Selected Response Questions .
    • Objective/Selected Response: Every marker or teacher will arrive at the same marks for each of the pupils who took the test.
    • Used when teacher wishes to test a relatively large amount of syllabus objectives.
    • Used to cover a large number of learners.
    • Each test item to be matched to the verb in the instructional objective you wish to test.
  • 11. Examples of Objective Tests
    • ( i) Multiple Choice
    • e.g. What is the Capital of Zimbabwe?
    • (a) Bulawayo
    • (b) Gaborone
    • (c) Harare
    • (d) Lusaka
    • True and False
    • e.g. Beans are a good source of protein. True or False?
  • 12. Examples of Objective Tests
    • Matching
    • Functions of parts of a flowering plant and the names of the parts are given. Match the part with its correct function by placing the corresponding letter on the line provided:
    • Function of Part Name of part
    • 1. Attracts insects A. Pollen grain
    • 2. Contains male eggs B. Filament
    • 3. Supports the anther C. Stigma
    • 4. Contains female eggs D. Petal
    • (iv) Filling In the Blanks
    • The President of Zambia is ____________.
    • (a) Kaunda (b) Chiluba (c) Mwanawasa (d) Miyanda
  • 13. Tips and Checklist for Writing & Reviewing Multiple Choice Items
    • Question should be related to the curriclum
    • objective.
    • Focus the question on one clearly stated problem. Test one problem with one question.
    • Choices should be brief.
    • Do not make the stem unnecessarily long by window dressing or by including instructional material.
    • List the choices in alphabetical order.
  • 14. Tips and Checklist for Writing & Reviewing Multiple Choice Items
    • Use clear and simple langauge. Avoid vagueness. Make it easy for the pupil to read and understand material.
    • Only one correct choice.
    • Avoid “none of the above”.
    • Avoid “all of the above”.
    • The stem should be in positive form. When negative forms are used, underline and capitalise the negative words.
    • Avoid verbal clues to the answer and distractors.
  • 15. Tips and Checklist for Writing & Reviewing Good Multiple Choice Items
    • Incorrect choices should be reasonable and not wildly off.
    • Numerical alternatives should be in numerical order.
    • Important objectives may have more than one question.
  • 16. Tips and Checklist for Writing and Reviewing Matching Items
    • Provide clear instructions or directions.
    • Avoid long directions.
    • Use numbers to identify the premises and letters to identify the responses.
    • Avoid using incomplete sentences and premises.
    • Entire set of matches should appear on one page.
    • Tell how many times a response may be used.
    • Arrange lists in alphabetical order (or numerical order if they are numbers).
    • Keep lists short.
    • Correct grammar and simple clear language to be used.
  • 17. Tips and Checklist for Writing and Reviewing True-False
    • The statement should be stated positively.
    • The statement must be entirely true or false.
    • Avoid tricky negatives.
    • Items should be based on important ideas only.
    • Statement should discriminate .
    • The statement should be based on single major idea.
    • Use simple and precise language.
    • Use short statements.
  • 18. Tips and Checklist for Writing and Reviewing True-False
    • Attach the source of reference if the statement contains an opinion, value or attitude.
    • Avoid verbal clues (also known as specific determiners) such as “always”, “never”, and “every”.
    • Avoid copying sentences directly from text books.
    • Avoid presenting answers in a manner that form a pattern; e.g. TFTF or TFFTFF
    • Have an approximately equal number of true and false items.
  • 19. Constructing Subjective Test Formats
    • Also called Brief Constructed Response Items.
    • Learner provides from memory a word or phrase that completes a sentence.
    • Learner does not choose from a list of answers.
    • Learner makes the response without the help of lists or phrases.
    • Different markers give different marks for the same test.
  • 20. Examples of Subjective Tests
    • Subjective test format tests: short answer and essay or composition.
    • SHORT ANSWER FORMAT
    • (i) Completion item : Supply of one word, number or a phrase as a response to question.
    • e.g: (Fill in the Blank)
    • Zambia gained independence in the year:____
    • (ii) Structured Question (Restricted Response):
    • Short Answer question; Student to write a phrase, a sentence or sentences .
    • e.g: Give the name of each of the following symbols:
    • +______, = _______, < ______, > _________
  • 21. Examples of Subjective Tests
    • (iii) Labelling a Drawing
    • e.g: Given a drawing of a fish, label the parts on
    • the drawing of the fish below:
  • 22. Tips and Checklist for Writing and Reviewing Completion/Short Answer Items
    • Statement should be related to the curriculum objectives.
    • Make item direct question and not an incomplete statement.
    • Question or statement to require a single unique answer. e.g. number, symbol, word, or brief phrase.
    • Blank should come at the end of statement where phrase is needed to complete the item.
    • Avoid too many blanks in the item.
    • Blank item should represent a key word or phrase.
  • 23. Tips and Checklist for Writing and Reviewing Completion Items
    • Statements should be clear.
    • Don’t lift items directly from the text book.
    • The key to the item must be definitely correct.
    • If numerical response is needed, indicate unit of measure.
    • Blanks should be long enough for written answers.
    • Blanks are equal in length.
    • Blanks are arranged for easy scoring.
    • Statements should be stated positively.
  • 24. Tips and Checklist for Writing and Reviewing “Label a Drawing” Questions.
    • Drawing should be clear.
    • Lines should point clearly to intended part.
    • The drawing used should vary from original ones studied by learners (should be new examples).
  • 25. Examples of Subjective Tests
    • ESSAY OR COMPOSITION FORMAT
    • Used to measure complex learning outcomes such as writing ability, ability to explain and reason using knowledge.
    • Words essay and composition used interchangeably.
    • Extended response item and not restricted.
    • Letter and composition in English:
    • e.g: Write a one page letter.
    • Essay/Composition:
    • e.g Learners tell or write a story about what they did
    • during the holiday.
  • 26. Tips and Checklist for Writing and Reviewing Compositions & Essays
    • Match question to important learning objective.
    • Structure question very clearly; to avoid confusion.
    • For composition/essay provide guidelines on what to help and the amount of material to write.
    • Design question to measure higher level thinking skills or performance skills.
  • 27. Assessment Techniques for Continuous Assessment
    • Constructed Response Tasks
    • (i) Performance assessment : Learners are asked
    • to demonstrate or perform what they know.
    • (ii) Product Assessment: Ask learners to use
    • their knowledge from what they have learned to make something.
  • 28. Examples of Performance Assessment Tasks for CA
    • Oral presentation.
    • Dance/movement.
    • Science activity.
    • Athletic skill.
    • Dramatic reading.
    • Role play.
    • Debate.
    • Song/poem.
    • Practical test.
    • Interviews of learners.
  • 29. Examples of Product Assessment Tasks for CA
    • Illustration or drawing.
    • Invented dialogue.
    • Models.
    • Essay/composition/story.
    • Reports.
    • Projects.
    • Journals
  • 30. Conclusion
    • Principle of Item/Objective Congruence : Appropriate test techniques should be used to suit selected objectives.
    • Item Review: The purpose of the item review is to make test items as clear as possible to the candidates.
      • Item review allows for the detection of ambiquities and carelessness which might not have been detected.
    • Guidelines on item reviews should be used by item writers to write good items for tests and exams.
  • 31. End Quote
    • “ A vision without a task is but a dream.
    • A task without a vision is drudgery.
    • A vision and a task is the hope of the world”
    • 1730, Church in Sussex