Essential Topics

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Assessment Design

Planning and implementing valid and reliable assessments.

Research indicates that teachers tend to use tests they have prepared themselves more than any other type of test.

Yet a significant number (48%) report they have no formal training in developing, administering, scoring, and interpreting the results. Whether formative or summative, if any conclusion is to be drawn from the results of an assessment, it must be sufficiently valid and reliable. To be truly useful, the results of assessments should be used as feedback for both students and teachers.

In terms of educational testing, reliability is the extent to which an assessment tool produces consistent and repeatable results – does a test produce consistent results when given to students of similar ability. Validity is the extent to which an assessment actually measures what it intends to measure – does a test provide sufficient evidence to make valid inferences concerning student knowledge or skills, based on their score.

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