ERIC Number: ED241589
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
The Validity of the Descriptive Tests of Language Skills: Relationships to Direct Measures of Writing Ability and to Grades in Introductory College English Courses.
Weiss, David; Jackson, Rex
Performance data on the Descriptive Tests of Language Skills (DTLS) for entering college students were collected through a pilot study of 4,234 students in 16 colleges. This study was also designed to permit several checks on the validity of the DTLS by examining the relationship of DTLS scores to the following criteria: English course grades, scores on essays administered concurrently with the DTLS prior to course enrollment, and scores on end-of-term essays. Results show that DTLS scores have a substantial concurrent relationship to carefully scored essays and that they predict writing course outcomes whether measured by end-of-course grades or a scored essay. Thus, these results lend support to the use of the DTLS as an aid in making decisions about the placement of students in introductory level college composition courses. The multitrait-multimethod matrix analysis did not provide evidence for the discriminant validity of the three DTLS that assess writing skills: Sentence Structure, Usage, and Logical Relationships. Whether this was due to a failure of the tests to measure relatively independent traits or to problems with the criteria used for this phase of the analysis is an open question. Background questions from the DTLS answer sheet and instructions for administering DTLS Exercises, the DTLS Exercises, and the DTLS Scoring Criteria are appended. (PN)
Descriptors: College Credits, English Curriculum, Higher Education, Language Skills, Language Usage, Logical Thinking, Predictive Validity, Reading Comprehension, Sentence Structure, Standardized Tests, Student Placement, Test Validity, Testing Programs, Vocabulary Skills, Writing Evaluation
College Board Publications, Box 886, New York, NY 10101 ($5.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: College Entrance Examination Board, New York, NY.
Identifiers: Descriptive Tests of Language Skills; Multitrait Multimethod Techniques