GENERAL FRAMEWORK FOR SETTING EXAMINATION PAPERS: TEST SPECIFICATIONS PAPER PRESENTED BY W. M. Kapambwe Principal - TEVET Examinations Council of Zambia
You are a teacher, one day a colleague phones you and she tells you that she is ill. According to the programme she has to develop a test. Due to the illness he/she is not able to develop that test. Of course you are willing to help your colleague.
What kind of information do you need to be able to develop the test?
According to The Standards for Educational
and Psychological Testing :
“… the validity of an intended interpretation of test scores relies on all the available evidence relevant to the technical quality of a testing system. This includes evidence of careful test construction…”
Content Definition and Mapping
What content is being measured?
How is the measurement of the content domain(s) being operationalised?
Assessment objectives (Behaviour or content)
Test matrix or test grid
Assessment Options for Different
All human behavior can be divided into one
of three categories or domains:
The three categories promote different learning behaviors or objectives. The most commonly assessed behavior domain is the cognitive. Behaviours in the cognitive have been organized into general categories. Such an organization is called taxonomy (system of classification).
Owing to the different learning behaviours, different assessment techniques are utilized.
The Blooms taxonomy is the main
Test Matrix or Grid
Total Evaluation Synthesis Application Comp Know Behaviours
1. Knowledge – define, recognize
2. Comprehension – explain, compare
3. Application – Calculate, apply
4. Analysis – Analyze, Plan
5. Synthesize – Design, schematize
6. Evaluation – Criticize, Choose, judge
Verbs for the cognitive domain
Appraise Conclude Critique Critcize Grade Judge Justify Interpret Support Recommend Arrange Combine Construct Create Design Formulate Genera- lise Generate Group Integrate Organise summarise Breakdown Differentiate Investigate Relate Separate Subdivide Change Compute Construct Solve Demonst-rate Illustrate Predict Classify Compare Convert Discuss Distinguish Estimate Explain Generalise Give Examples Infer Interpret Para Rewrite Summarize translate Count Define Identify Label list Match Name Outline Point out Quote Recite Repeat Reproduce Select state trace Behaviours Evaluation Synthesis Analysis App. Comp. Know. Cog. Area
Old & New Bloom’s Taxonomy
The six levels of Blooms taxonomy were changed from nouns to verbs as shown below.
The New Bloom’s Taxonomy incorporates not only the cognitive domain but also the affective and the psychomotor. This represents a holistic treatment of all the learning domains. The New Blooms Taxonomy has the following domains :
The cognitive - knowledge based domain, consisting of six levels
The affective - attitudinal based domain, consisting of five levels, and
The psychomotor - skills based domain, consisting of six levels.
New Terms Explained
Remembering : Retrieving, recognizing, and recalling relevant knowledge from long-term memory.
Understanding : Constructing meaning from oral, written, and graphic messages through interpreting, exemplifying, classifying, summarizing, inferring, comparing, and explaining.
Applying : Carrying out or using a procedure through executing, or implementing
Analyzing : Breaking material into constituent parts, determining how the parts relate to each other and to an overall structure or purpose through differentiating, organizing, and attributing.
Evaluating : Making judgments based on criteria and standards through checking and critiquing.
Creating : Putting elements together to form a coherent or functional whole; reorganizing elements into a new pattern or structure through generating, planning or producing.
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.
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.
Factual knowledge : recognizing and remembering of facts and action prescription
Conceptual knowledge : understanding principles of strategies actions
Reproductive skills : Routines and vocational activities based on standard procedures executed according to a clear prescription or protocol.
Productive skills : Appeals to the creativity and problem solving skills of the student. Application of principles and strategies in new situations.
(c ) Sub-skills for Reproductive and Productive
Cognitive skills: Application of knowledge, eg. Interpretation, analysis, deciding.
Psychomotor skills: Execution of physical, motoric actions using knowledge and comprehensive.
Reactive skills: Attitudes according to a value system.
Interactive skills: Application of social and communicative aspects in daily life in relation to others, communicating, collaborating.
Model Design Plan Analyze Argue Discuss Demonstrate Construct Apply (in concrete situations) Explain Interpret Classify Compare Put in order Combine Distinguish Describe Give examples Recognize Repeat List Name Define Point out Underline Productive skill Reproductive skills Conceptual knowledge Factual Knowledge
Romiscowski Test Matrix Skills Skills Knowledge Knowledge Content (Summarized/End Term) Test Goal/Sub- domain Status: Draft Final Test Format Test Number: Period of Testing: Author: Year/Class School Type Subject
Test construction requires knowledge of the syllabus/course outline on which an examination syllabus is based. There should be congruency or agreement between the learning outcome or objective and the testing technique used to assess a learning outcome.
The taxonomy used should be determined by the nature of learning outcome. 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.
A mismatch between learning outcomes and assessment procedures leads to what is called curriculum distortion. This distortion could lead to lower learning achievement due to wrong enforcement from the assessment process.
American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, and National Council on Measurement in Education (1999). Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing . Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association
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