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Tests & Measures. Understanding Terms & Concepts. Data Collection. Assessment requires the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data Data – the pieces of information that are collected to examine the research topic

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Tests measures

Tests & Measures

Understanding Terms & Concepts


Data collection
Data Collection

  • Assessment requires the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data

    • Data – the pieces of information that are collected to examine the research topic

    • Issues related to the collection of this information are the focus of this lecture


Data collection1
Data Collection

  • Terminology related to data

    • Constructs – abstractions that cannot be observed directly but are helpful when trying to explain behavior

      • Intelligence

      • Teacher effectiveness

      • Self concept


Data collection2
Data Collection

  • Data terminology (continued)

    • Operational definition – the ways by which constructs are observed and measured

      • Weschler IQ test

      • Virgilio Teacher Effectiveness Inventory

      • Tennessee Self-Concept Scale

    • Variable – a construct that has been operationalized and has two or more values


Data collection3
Data Collection

  • Measurement scales

    • Nominal – categories

      • Gender, ethnicity, etc.

    • Ordinal – ordered categories

      • Rank in class, order of finish, etc.

    • Interval – equal intervals

      • Test scores, attitude scores, etc.

    • Ratio – absolute zero

      • Time, height, weight, etc.






Data collection4
Data Collection

  • Types of variables

    • Categorical or quantitative

      • Categorical variables reflect nominal scales and measure the presence of different qualities (e.g., gender, ethnicity, etc.)

      • Quantitative variables reflect ordinal, interval, or ratio scales and measure different quantities of a variable (e.g., test scores, self-esteem scores, etc.)


Measurement instruments
Measurement Instruments

  • Important terms

    • Instrument – a tool used to collect data

    • Test – a formal, systematic procedure for gathering information

    • Assessment – the general process of collecting, synthesizing, and interpreting information

    • Measurement – the process of quantifying or scoring a subject’s performance


Measurement instruments1
Measurement Instruments

  • Important terms (continued)

    • Cognitive tests – examining subjects’ thoughts and thought processes

    • Affective tests – examining subjects’ feelings, interests, attitudes, beliefs, etc.

    • Standardized tests – tests that are administered, scored, and interpreted in a consistent manner


Measurement instruments2
Measurement Instruments

  • Important terms (continued)

    • Selected response item format – respondents select answers from a set of alternatives

      • Multiple choice

      • True-false

      • Matching

    • Supply response item format – respondents construct answers

      • Short answer

      • Completion

      • Essay


Measurement instruments3
Measurement Instruments

  • Interpreting data

    • Raw scores – the actual score made on a test

    • Standard scores – statistical transformations of raw scores

      • Percentiles (0.00 – 99.9)


Measurement instruments4
Measurement Instruments

  • Interpreting data (continued)

    • Norm-referenced

      • Scores are interpreted relative to the scores of others taking the test

    • Criterion-referenced

      • Scores are interpreted relative to a predetermined level of performance


Measurement instruments5
Measurement Instruments

  • Types of instruments

    • Cognitive – measuring intellectual processes such as thinking, memorizing, problem solving, analyzing, or reasoning

    • Achievement – measuring what students already know

    • Aptitude – measuring general mental ability, usually for predicting future performance


Measurement instruments6
Measurement Instruments

  • Types of instruments (continued)

    • Affective – assessing individuals’ feelings, values, attitudes, beliefs, etc.

      • Typical affective characteristics of interest

        • Values – deeply held beliefs about ideas, persons, or objects

        • Attitudes – dispositions that are favorable or unfavorable toward things

        • Interests – inclinations to seek out or participate in particular activities, objects, ideas, etc.

        • Personality – characteristics that represent a person’s typical behaviors


Measurement instruments7
Measurement Instruments

  • Types of instruments (continued)

    • Affective (continued)

      • Scales used for responding to items on affective tests

        • Likert

          • Positive or negative statements to which subjects respond on scales such as strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, or strongly agree

        • Rating scales – rankings based on how a subject would rate the trait of interest


Selection of a test
Selection of a Test

  • Sources of test information

    • Mental Measurement Yearbooks (MMY)

      • The reviews in MMY are most easily accessed through National University library and the services to which they subscribe (e.g., EBSCO)

      • Provides factual information on all known tests

      • Provides objective test reviews

      • Comprehensive bibliography for specific tests

      • Indices: titles, acronyms, subject, publishers, developers

      • Buros Institute


Selection of a test1
Selection of a Test

  • Sources (continued)

    • Tests in Print

      • Tests in Print is a subsidiary of the Buros Institute

      • The reviews in it are most easily accessed through your university library and the services to which they subscribe (e.g., EBSCO)

      • Bibliography of all known commercially produced tests currently available

      • Very useful to determine availability

      • Tests in Print


Selection of a test2
Selection of a Test

  • Sources (continued)

    • Professional journals

    • Test publishers and distributors

  • Issues to consider when selecting tests

    • Psychometric properties

      • Validity

      • Reliability

      • Length of test

      • Scoring and score interpretation


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