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Edcaution - Assignment Example

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They do not measure the level to which a student attains the objectives of a course. The outcomes of norm-referenced tests are percentile ranks of a given group of…
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Tests and Reliability Tests and Reliability Norm-referenced tests compare the achievement of a as compared to the achievement of his or her peers. They do not measure the level to which a student attains the objectives of a course. The outcomes of norm-referenced tests are percentile ranks of a given group of students. Norm-referenced tests distinguish strong students from those that are weak. As such, for the designers of norm-referenced tests to ensure the reliability of the test, they should ensure the tests provide a wide range of scores. To achieve this, the designers need to ensure that the items that students can answer easily and correctly do not dominate the test (Kubiszyn & Borich, 2007). Secondly, designers of norm-referenced tests should pick the content taught in the many schools, in the country. This is especially in the case of nationwide or district-wide examinations.
Essay questions, true or false tests, matching questions, definition and open-ended questions are examples of criterion-referenced tests. They measure a student’s level of competence based on a preset standard without comparing him or her with peers. The objectives of the course and the curriculum inform the setting of criterion-referenced tests. These tests are most helpful when they measure students’ ability in given areas. There exists a need to ensure high validity and reliability of these tests. Firstly, designers of these tests should ensure that they pick the content matching the objectives of the course and the standards of the curriculum (Popham, 2008). A big cluster around the high end of the grading system shows many students met the standards. Secondly, the designers of these tests should suspend their biases. Bias-free tests are fair to all students regardless of gender, ethnic background, race and socio-economic status.
High-stakes tests are another group of tests besides norm-referenced tests. The outcomes of these tests serve to make important decisions in people’s lives. A licensure examination is an example of a high-stakes test. This is because the results of the examination help decide the possibility of an examinee getting a permit to practice as a professional nurse (Kubiszyn & Borich, 2007). Because the results of high-stakes tests determine whether individuals get permits to do something or not, they need high reliability and validity. Speed tests measure the rate at which individuals can perform a given task. The test measures the speed of performance only and not the knowledge of individuals.
There is a possibility of misusing norm-referenced tests and criterion-referenced tests in the development of curriculum and instruction. As discussed above, norm-referenced tests measure the performance of individuals as compared to that of his or her peers. On the other hand, criterion-referenced tests measure the competence of individual students in different areas. On the whole, the two tests can make students feel discriminated. Appearing last in test results attacks the esteem of students, and it is worse when his or her peers tease or joke about it. In fact, some instructors administer criterion-referenced tests and categorize some students as weak and others as strong. There is a temptation of strong students despising the weak ones. Such an education system would be unfair as it can breed prejudice among students (Popham, 2008).
References
Kubiszyn, T. & Borich, G. (2007). Educational testing and measurement: Classroomapplication and practice. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Jossey-Bass Education.
Popham, W. (2008). Classroom assessment: What teachers need to know. New York: Pearson. Read More
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