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ERIC Number: EJ1168494
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
A Tale of Two Models: Sources of Confusion in Achievement Testing. Research Report. ETS RR-17-44
Reckase, Mark D.
ETS Research Report Series, 2017
A common interpretation of achievement test results is that they provide measures of achievement that are much like other measures we commonly use for height, weight, or the cost of goods. In a limited sense, such interpretations are correct, but some nuances of these interpretations have important implications for the use of achievement test results. This paper will contrast two different theoretical underpinnings for the interpretation of educational assessments results as measurements. One of these theoretical views comes from initial attempts in psychology to measure the amount of a trait that was exhibited by a person. The other theoretical view comes from early work in education to measure how much of a desired curriculum was acquired by students. At times, these views conflict with each other and lead test developers and policy makers to ask for the impossible. After summarizing the two theoretical positions, the areas of conflict will be discussed. Finally, some recommendations will be given for what can be done to clarify the issues and minimize the problems that result from using conflicting theoretical frameworks.
Descriptors: Models, Achievement Tests, Test Results, Test Construction, Computer Assisted Testing, Item Response Theory, Psychology, Measurement, Educational Testing
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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