Recall from Chapters 1 through 3 that validity refers to the degree to which evidence and theory support the interpretations of test scores entailed by the proposed uses of a test.
In other words, validity indexes the extent to which test scores can be used for their intended purpose.
We could say that validity refers to the degree to which the content coverage of the exam (as specified in the outline, based on the learning objectives) supports the use of scores as a measure of student learning for topics covered in the first part of the course.
Based on this definition of validity, what would you say is the purpose of the exam?
In this chapter, educational standards are presented as a form of learning objective, which identify the goals or purposes of instruction.
Here’s a simplified example of a learning objective for this chapter: write and critique test items. Can you describe why it would be challenging to assess proficiency or competency for this objective?This chapter summarizes the main stages of both cognitive and noncognitive test construction, from conception to development, and the main features of commonly used item formats. The cognitive item writing guidelines presented in are summarized, along with the main concepts from the style guides used by testing companies.Next, noncognitive personality test development is discussed.So, we need to define validity in terms of these more specific test uses.Let’s use a midterm exam from an introductory measurement course as an example.These standards describe what students should know and be able to do at each grade level in selected content areas.CSTs carry the most weight in school and district Academic Performance Index (API) calculations.A total of 38 CSTs form the cornerstone of the STAR program.The CSTs, given in English, are designed to show how well students in grades two through eleven are performing with respect to California’s content standards.These are generic definitions of validity that apply to any type of educational or psychological measure.In this chapter we focus first on cognitive tests, where the purpose of the test is to produce scores that can inform decision making in terms of aptitude and achievement, presumably of students.