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An Introduction to Test Construction

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1 An Introduction to Test Construction

2 By the end of this session, you will:
Know what should be the basis of all test/exam questions. Be able to connect assessment methods with your goals for students’ learning. Know how to write effective multiple choice questions. Know how to write and grade essays.

3 Basis of Exam Questions
The basis of all exam questions should be learning outcomes. Using Bloom’s Taxonomy can help you clarify what you want students to learn. By setting learning outcomes at different levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, you will target exactly what you want students to know, be able to do, or have experienced as a result of learning activities in class.

4 Bloom’s Taxonomy A system created to improve testing precision by categorizing cognitive functioning into distinct levels. Appropriate questions could then be developed to assess the desired level. System was developed by psychologist Benjamin Bloom at the University of Chicago in the late 1940s.

5 Bloom’s Taxonomy Knowledge Comprehension Application Analysis
Synthesis Evaluation Low High

6 Bloom’s Taxonomy Taxonomy is simply a system of categorizing and organizing. It is useful in illustrating how certain question types are better choices for assessing different levels of student mastery. An awareness of these levels can help to determine how well the students really know the subject. The taxonomy is hierarchical; each level is subsumed by the higher levels. So, a students functioning at the ‘application’ level has also mastered the material at the ‘knowledge’ and ‘comprehension’ levels.

7 Designing and Constructing a Class Test
Determine the aim(s) of the test Decide what weightage you should give Decide on testing formats for each skill Make decisions on specific issues Draw up a table of specifications Establish administration procedures Vet items written Pre-test the test Do item analysis and build a test bank Test Procedures Identifying the purpose of testing Construction of the tests Scoring and reporting procedures Interpretation of test scores Record keeping procedures Analysis of the test items

8 Identifying the purpose of testing
What kind of test is it to be? What do I want to be able to say or do with the results I obtain? What skills do I want to test and what sub-skills will be focused on? What are the practical constraints I have to work with?

9 Test Blueprint / Table of Test Specifications
A test blueprint is a detailed written plan for a test that typically includes descriptions of the test purpose and target audience; the content or performance areas it will cover, the types of items and number to be written for each content or performance area, difficulty level of item and the total number of items.

10 Writing Test Specifications
Need to decide on how to test - Tasks - Types of text - Topics/Themes - Format - Weightage - Time allocation

11 Guidelines for Preparing a Test Blueprint
Range of topics to be selected The topics selected must reflect their importance in the syllabus and teaching in the classroom. Range of skills to be tested - Bloom’s Taxonomy is used for testing the cognitive domain. - HOTS are encouraged. - Skills tested should reflect classroom teaching and match the students cognitive development. Types of test items Both objective and subjective items are preferred to capitalize the strengths of these items.

12 Guidelines for Preparing a Test Blueprint
Number of Items by Topic, Skill and Type - The number should reflect the importance placed on the topic and skill - A suitable number of items to enable interpretation of students’ behaviour. Level of Difficulty of Test Items - For NRT, simple, moderate, difficult items follow a normal distribution of approximately 1 : 3 : 1 - For CRT, basic or simple items are adequate. Allocation of Marks The marks distribution must reflect the importance of the topics and skills tested

13 Guidelines for test construction
Teamwork Vet each other’s work Vet the stimulus/input material - appropriateness - balance and bias Vet test items after they are written Look at the test as a whole - coherence

14 Test Administration When and where will the test be administered?
How will it be administered? Who will administer the test? What facilities/apparatus would be necessary for the successful administration of the test?

15 Scoring Procedures Objective tests have a pre-determined correct answer - computers - templates Subjective tests require one that is suitable for skill testes or format used

16 Reporting Procedures Raw scores (marks) Grades
Ranking (class position) Profile reporting

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