Lesson 7 Basics of test design.(Principles of test design) Search special information yourself to the following theme

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Lesson 7 Basics of test design.(Principles of test design)

Search special information yourself to the following theme

Write your own opinion.Should language teachers be closely aware of basics of test design? Why/Whynot?

Designing Effective Exams and Test Questions

Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of teaching a course is developing exams. Tests, when created effectively, can be very useful measures of student mastery of course concepts. This is especially true when they are specifically linked to course objectives or outcomes. Effective exams have the following characteristics:

  • They are reliable. Reliability is demonstrated when an exam produces data that is consistent over time (Banta and Palomba, 2015). Tests that are too long, have confusing directions, and/or have an unclear scoring protocol are all examples of unreliable assessments.

  • They are valid. Validity is achieved when a test measures exactly what it was created to measure (Banta and Palomba, 2015). An exam has major problems with validity when its items are not connected to course learning outcomes or produces unexpected results. For instance, if all high-performing students in a class respond to a test question incorrectly, the item is most likely invalid.

  • They are free from bias. There are two types of bias when it comes to testing. Both forms have to do with validity. Construct validity bias refers to whether the exam measures what it was intended to measure. Content validity bias refers to whether the test items are comparatively more challenging for one group of students than for others.

Use the following tabs for types of exam item and related examples, as well as general strategies for effective exam and test question development.

 Types of Exams Items

There are numerous types of exam items that can be used to assess student comprehension and competence. When deciding which type of exam item to use instructors should consider what skills, concepts, or knowledge they want students to demonstrate.  Each type of exam item offers advantages and disadvantages and both should be weighed before deciding on which item type to use to best measure student learning. Below you will find descriptions of some common types of exam items:

Multiple choice– comprises of a statement or question stemmed from a concept or learning objective followed with multiple possible options to select. Typically, only one answer is correct, but the test developer could insert multiple correct answers.

True/false– this is a special case of the multiple choice item where only two possible answer choices (true or false) exists. The item answer options are preceded by a statement that stems from a major concept or learning objective from the course.

Essay– consists of an open-ended question that allows for the test-taker to elaborate, in their own words, on a/the major concept(s) or learning objective(s) from the course.  Typically, directions on what is to be expected from the answer is detailed before the questions is posed to the test-taker.  Questions should be specific, but allow for the test-taker to share their understanding of the major concept(s).

Fill-in-the-blank– an incomplete statement that requires the test-taker to write in the missing word(s) to make the statement true and sensible.  These statements typically require the test-taker to show they can identify keywords within a major concept.

Computational– an item that requires the test-taker to demonstrate analytical understanding of a stated problem through justifiable and logical calculations.  These types of questions are normally found in math based or quantitative based exams. Test-takers must show the steps used to make connections between the given information and the answer to the question.

Oral– test-takers are prompted with a question and justify their answer through a spoken response.

Performance/demonstrative– test-takers exhibit an understanding of key concepts and skills by physically demonstrating the skill in a controlled environment.  Often times, this form of testing is conducted in a role-playing or simulated setting.

 Example Test Questions by Type

1. Multiple choice

Question: Suppose you wanted to measure the differences in students’ responses between their pre-test and post-test, which statistical test would be most appropriate for this scenario?

  1. Independent t-test

  2. Dependent t-test

  3. Factorial ANOVA

  4. One-way ANOVA

Answer: B. Dependent t-test
2. True/false

A conjecture is a statement that is believed to be true based on observations, but has yet to be proven true.

True or False?

Answer: True

3. Essay

Provide a response to the following question.  Be sure to provide examples that illustrate and support your argument.

Question: How was international diplomacy conducted and viewed after the end of the First World War?

4. Fill-in-the-blank

Movement towards chemical attractants and away from repellents is known as __________.

Answer: Chemotaxis


Prove: x + 2 (9) = 54

Explain the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning and provide examples of each.

The student will demonstrate the proper procedures for performing CPR using a dummy.

 General Strategies for Development

  • Connect individual test items to course learning outcomes/objectives. A test blueprint can help with this. Click the above tab, “Before the Test,” to read more about test blueprints.

  • Consult with multiple colleagues in designing test questions.

  • Involve students in the process by having them submit possible test questions that align with course outcomes.

  • Avoid creating tests that differ too much from other assessments in the course. If you must deviate, explain to students the format of the exam up front.

  • Avoid “trivia” questions. These questions that focus on “nice to know information” that may have been mentioned once or twice in class, but that aren’t relevant to major course concepts.

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