ERIC Number: ED306552
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
How Well Do Tests Measure Real Reading? ERIC Digest.
Powell, Janet L.
Despite a significant increase in test usage, numerous issues surrounding reading assessment remain unresolved. Construct validity--whether the test actually measures aspects of the behavior under consideration--is of particular importance if one is to rely on test scores to direct instruction, predict performance, or determine accountability. A slow but continually emerging trend to recognize reading as a thinking process has been at the core of the controversies over the validity of various forms of reading assessment. Virtually all methods of assessing reading are indirect, even those that claim to directly assess reading processes. The product of reading should, however, reflect the process the test-taker uses to generate the responses that produce a reading comprehension test score. A reader's awareness of thought processes involved in reading has recently been called "metacognition," and test designers are now including items that supposedly measure this. The as yet limited research on the metacognitive aspects of reading has indicated that multiple-choice tests and written retellings have construct validity. While the scores (products) of these tests may not reveal direct information about the processes students use to complete them, the tasks do appear to involve mental processes that have long been associated with reading. (MM)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading and Communication Skills, Bloomington, IN.