ERIC Number: ED385324
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Validating Placement Tests in the Community College: The Role of Test Scores, Biographical Data, and Grading Variation.
Armstrong, William B.
Concerns over equity, access, and fairness of placement testing have resulted in state regulations requiring validity evidence of the placement test with respect to a criterion variable, such as final course grades. A study was conducted to assess the validity of placement tests used to place students in pre-collegiate and college-level English and mathematics courses. The study examined the correlation between scores received on placement tests and student grades in English and mathematics courses. Also examined were other variables which helped to explain the variance in course grades. To determine which variables to include in the regression equation, several cross-tabulations were conducted to examine the association between ethnic/racial groupings; educational background; commitment to college attendance; and instructor grading variables. The study indicated that any model that used final course grade as the criterion for the validity of a placement rule would likely fail to account for a significant source of variation if instructor grading variability was not included. This finding has implications for validation policy and instructional issues across the curriculum. The use of instructor codes in test validation research is politically sensitive; however, it appears that in the interest of student equity and access, these critical instructional issues should be discussed. (KP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (35th, Boston, MA, May 28-31, 1995).