ERIC Number: ED298151
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Jan
Improving Essay Tests. IDEA Paper No. 17.
Cashin, William E.
Essay tests, despite their limitations, have a number of strengths and, therefore, appropriate uses in higher education, as long as users are aware of the limitations. Essay questions (extended response and restricted response) are designed to assess student learning. There is considerable agreement in the educational measurement literature about how essay tests can be improved. Topics addressed in this paper include the nature of an essay test, strengths and limitations of essay tests, and recommendations on appropriate applications, test construction, and scoring. The most notable strength of the essay test is its ability to measure writing composition skills. Serious limitations concern the reliability of essay tests. In all, 25 recommendations are presented. (TJH)
Descriptors: College Faculty, Essay Tests, Higher Education, Learning, Scoring, Teacher Made Tests, Test Construction
Center for Faculty Evaluation and Development, Division of Continuing Education, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506 (PC $1.00, 25-99 copies $0.20 each, 100 or more $0.15 each).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Researchers
Authoring Institution: Kansas State Univ., Manhattan. Center for Faculty Evaluation and Development in Higher Education.