2 Why do we evaluate students? Motivate studentsMeasure achievementIdentify areas for reviewCheck effectiveness of materials, teaching methods, and teacherDifferentiate between different levels of achievementAssign grades
3 Basic Principles of Testing ValidityDoes the test measure what it is supposed to measure?Does the test require student performance as described by a corresponding objective?
4 Basic Principles of Testing ReliabilityWould the test generate the same results if it were given again (assuming no change in students)?Is the test affected by misinterpretation?Poorly written directions or instructionsVague or tricky questionsMisleading wordsNot sure of student response
5 Agenda Aligning evaluation with level of learning Developing a test blueprint or “table of specifications”Common pitfalls when writing test questionsWriting questions at various levels of performance
6 Defining objectives using Bloom’s Cognitive Taxonomy CATEGORY/levelEvaluationSynthesisAnalysisApplicationComprehensionKnowledgeSKILL (what students do)JudgeCombineBreak apartApply principlesUnderstandingRecall
7 Sample Verbs for Different Categories/Levels of Cognition KnowledgeCite, define, identify, label, list, match, name, recognize, reproduce, select, stateComprehensionClassify, convert, describe, distinguish between, explain, extend, give examples, illustrate, interpret, paraphrase, summarize, translateApplicationApply, arrange, compute, construct, demonstrate, discover, modify, operate, predict, prepare, produce, relate, show, solve, use
9 Agenda Developing a test blueprint or “table of specifications” Aligning evaluation with level of learningDeveloping a test blueprint or “table of specifications”Common pitfalls when writing test questionsWriting questions at various levels of performance
10 Developing a Test Blueprint or a Table of Specifications Develop a matrix (much like a rubric) of number of test questions (or percentage of test) by topic and level of objective, and by amount of emphasis on each topic and objectiveHelps you plan your testDo before writing items
11 Example Test Blueprint or Table of Specifications Number of Objectives (Amount of Effort*}AdjustLevel of ObjectiveTopic ATopic BTopic CTopic DTotalKnowledge125 (20%)Comprehension6 (24%)ApplicationAnalysisSynthesis*2 (8%)Evaluation*1 (4%)*Adjustment factor6(24%)7(28%)25(100%)PAGE 10
12 Levels of performanceLower levels (knowledge, comprehension, and application)Recognize the principle in altered format.Match component parts with vocabulary.Identify example seen before.Recognize an example never seen before.Solve a problem using familiar format, but different specifics.Higher levels (analysis, synthesis, evaluation)Pick out components of a situation.Problem solve by combining elements.Make judgments of value.PAGE 25
13 Preparing to write test items Create test items while preparing class lessons.Make note of questions asked frequently by students.Make note of misconceptions made often by students during class or homework.Invite students to submit items at the end of each class or at other times.Adapt questions from formative assessments.
14 Categories of Test Questions Test items can roughly be broken intoObjective (“fixed” or single correct response)True-falseMultiple choiceMatchingCompletion or fill-in-the-blank.Subjective (extended response/multiple correct)Short answer and/or EssayOral testCase Study
15 Common pitfalls in writing test directions—and avoiding them! Giving unclear directions: “Choose the best answer.”What is meant by “best”? Funniest? Simplest? Cheapest? Easiest?“Choose the correct answer” is a much better statement of directions—and then ensure that there is a single correct answer!Providing unintended cues such as making the correct answer longer than the other options
16 Writing GOOD test directions Indicate carefully and specifically how students should respond. For example, on a TRUE/FALSE section on a test:Circle “V” for statements that are VERDAD and “F” for statements that are FALSO.Do NOT have students write V or F in a blank.Give point values for items and sections.Allow students to EXPLAIN on any fixed-response (true-false, multiple choice, etc.) item.Providing unintended cues such as making the correct answer longer than the other options
17 Writing True / False Items for Tests and Exams Can be used to check for knowledge and comprehension.Keep statements simple.Make entirely true or entirely false.Avoid double negative items.In fact, best to avoid negative items.
18 Common pitfalls in writing true-false test items Using NOT or EXCEPT in the statementUsing cues such as “ALWAYS” or “USUALLY”Using unclear, vague terms such as “OFTEN” or “MANY” or “FEW”Using double negatives in a statementUsing compound statements with one indpendent clause true and one, false.Providing unintended cues such as making the correct answer longer than the other options
19 Writing True / False Test Items For each of the statements below, circle “T” if true and circle “F” if false.T F The length of gestation in swine is 33 days.For each of the statements below, circle “T” if true and circle “F” if false. Also, explain in the blank why it is false.__________________________________
20 Writing multiple choice items for tests and exams Use distractors that are plausibleDo NOT use “all of the above” or “none of the above” or “only A and B” or “B and C on alternate Thursdays” as distractorsUse 4 or 5 distractors, but use the SAME number of distractors (4 or 5) for all itemsVary randomly where you put the correct answer.Allow students to explain!Providing unintended cues such as making the correct answer longer than the other options
21 Preparing for students who are test-wise to some kinds of items Longest answer“C” as correct answerProcess of eliminationUse grammatical cuesScientific soundingAvoid simple and obviousRelated wordGuess by figuring out your patternPick the longest answermake sure the longest answer is only correct a part of the timetry to make options equal lengthb. When in doubt pick “c”make sure the correct answer choice letter variesc. Never pick an answer which uses the word ‘always’ or ‘never’ in itmake sure this option is correct part of the time or avoid using always and never in the option choicesd. If there are two answers which express opposites, pick one or the other and ignore other alternativessometimes offer opposites when neither is correct or offer two pairs of oppositese. If in doubt, guessuse five alternatives instead of three or four to reduce guessingf. Pick the scientific-sounding answeruse scientific sounding jargon in wrong answersg. Don’t pick an answer which is too simple or obvioussometimes make the simple, obvious answer the correct oneh. Pick a word which you remember was related to the topicwhen creating the distractors use terminology from the same area of the text as the right answer, but in distractors use those words incorrectly so the wrong answers are definitely wrong
22 Writing Matching Items for Tests and Exams Appropriate only for knowledge level testingUse a reasonable number of items: 7 – 12All premises in one list, all responses in another listPremises can be long, but try to keep responses shortUse more responses than premisesCan approximate fill-in-the-blank items
23 Writing Clear Directions for Matching Items Write the LETTER of the correct Response in theBlank preceding the numbered premise.____ 1. List premise____ 2. List premise____ 3. List Premise____ 4. List Premise____ 5. List Premise____ 6. List PremiseResponse
24 Writing Fill-in-the-Blank or Completion Test Items Most useful for lower order levels of learningUse your own wordsTry to ensure that only one answer is correct, but, if that is too hard to do, …You may consider “matching” using a word bankKeep all blanks the same length and at END of statementAvoid grammatical clues
25 Writing Directions for Completion Test Items Complete each statement by writing the correct word(s) in the blank(s) provided.1. A thermometer should be rinsed in _____________ water. Good or bad item?2. The letters “N-P-K” in fertilizers stand for, respectively, _____________, _____________, and _____________.
26 Extended Response Test Items Short answer and/or EssayOral testCase Study or “Word Problems/Situations”These kinds of test questions require criteria and pre-determined descriptions of levels of performance to be graded reliably and fairly. We call that what?
27 Short Answer and/or Essay May require many different behaviors:Comparison, for or against, cause and effect, explanation, summary, analysis, describe relationships, apply rules, or discussion
28 Oral TestAll students must receive the same test item stated in a clear, concise manner designed to elicit correct answers arranged in logical order.Determine beforehand how you may lead the students if they stumble.
29 Case Study Problem should be practical and realistic Requires recall and comprehension of prior information and, if well-written, may require application, analysis, synthesis and/or evaluation of that information“Word problems” are similar to a case study.
30 Which Type of Question to Use? Select the appropriate technique to test the student competence at the level of cognition required by the objective.Avoid using just one type of test question.We know students have different strengths:VisualAudioKinesthetic
31 Materials in this presentation developed in part by… Jason PeakeUniversity of GeorgiaBrian ParrAuburn UniversityDawn ZimmaroUniversity of TexasGary BriersTexas A&M University