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Philippine Normal University The National Center for Teacher Education Taft Avenue corner Ayala Blvd.

, Manila

Written Report

In partial fulfilment in Prof Ed 8 : Assessment and Evaluation

Submitted by: Fabicon, Sharlene Fae F.

CONSTRUCTING TEST Suggestions in Constructing Interpretative Test Items There are two major tasks in interpretative tests: 1) the selection of appropriate introductory material, and 2) the construction of a series of dependent test items. The following suggestions will aid in constructing interpretative tests of high quality: 1. Select introductory material that is in harmony with the objectives of the course. Interpretative test, like other testing procedures, should measure the achievement of specific instructional goals. Success in this regard depends to a large extent on the introductory material, since this provides the common setting on which the specific test items are based. Ideally, the introductory material should be pertinent to the course content and complex enough to call forth the mental reactions specified in the course objectives. 2. Select introductory material that is appropriate to the curriculum experience and reading level of the students. The type used should be familiar to the students so that the nature of the material does not prevent them from demonstrating their achievement of the complex learning outcomes. 3. Select introductory material that is new to the students Materials similar to those used in class but which vary slightly in content or form most desirable. 4. Construct test items which require analysis and interpretation of the introductory material. If the interpretative test is to function as intended, it should include only those items which require students to read the introductory material and to make the desired interpretations. Regardless of the emphasis, however, the test items should dependent on the introductory material, while at the same time calling forth mental reactions of a higher order than those related to simple reading comprehension.

5. Make the number of test items roughly proportional to the length of the introductory material There should be a balance. It is inefficient to have student a long, complex selection of material and answer only one or two questions concerning it. 6. In constructing key-type test items, make the categories homogeneous and mutually exclusive The key-type item, which is used rather frequently in interpretative tests, is a modified multiple-choice form which uses a common set of alternatives. Suggestions in Constructing an Essay Question for an Essay Test 1. Clearly define the intended learning outcome to be assessed by the item Decide which of the following intended learning outcomes lends itself better to be assessed by an essay question. Example: POOR Example A Students will appreciate the process of cell division. BETTER Example B Given a chart illustrating the process of cell division, students will compare and contrast each major step in the process. In these examples, Example B is more useful for guiding the development of an essay question while Example A is too general to provide clear guidance in writing an essay question. Again, intended learning outcomes meant to guide assessment of student learning should be as specific as possible. Objectives written broadly or generally are adequate for guiding an entire course or for describing the goals of an entire program, but are not as useful for determining which type of assessment item should be used. 2. Clearly define and situate the task within a problem situation. Effective essay questions provide students with an indication of the types of thinking

and content to use in responding to the essay question. Example: Intended learning outcome: Analyze the impact of America at war on the American economy. Less effective essay question: Describe the impact of America at war on the American economy. More effective essay question: Analyze the impact of America at war on the American economy by describing how different effects of the war work together to influence the economy. 3. Present a reasonable task to students. When defining the task for the essay question, teachers need to make sure that they present a reasonable task to their students. Teachers need to make sure that their students can be expected to have adequate material with which to answer the question. In addition, teachers should ask themselves if students can be reasonably expected to adequately perform the thought processes which are required of them in the task. 4. The task can be written as a statement or question. If written as a question, then it must be readily translatable into the form of an imperative statement. For example, the following illustrates the same essay item twice, once as a question and once as an imperative statement. Question: How are the processes of increasing production and improving quality in a manufacturing plant similar or different based on cost? Imperative statement: Compare and contrast the processes of increasing production and improving quality in a manufacturing plant based on cost. 5. Use several relatively short essay questions rather than one long one. Only a very limited number of essay questions can be included on a test because of the time required for students to respond to them and the time required for teachers to grade the responses. This creates a challenge with regards to designing valid essay questions. Focused essay questions are better suited to assess the depth of student learning within a subject whereas less-focused essay questions are better suited to assess the breadth of student learning within a subject.

6. Avoid the use of optional questions. Students should not be permitted to choose one essay question to answer from two or more optional questions. The use of optional questions should be avoided for the following reasons: Students may waste time deciding on an option. Some questions are likely to be harder to answer than others. This could make the comparative assessment of students' abilities unfair. The use of optional questions makes it difficult to evaluate if all students are equally knowledgeable about topics covered in the test. Suggestions in Constructing a Matching type Test Matching test items, along with true-false and multiple- choice, are selection items. They are specialized for use when measuring the student's ability to identify the relationship between a set of similar items, each of which has two components, such as words and their definitions, symbols and their meanings, dates and events, people and their accomplishments, etc. 1. Check your objectives to make sure the type of question you will use is appropriate. 2. Include more responses than premises or allow responses to be used more than once. 3. Put the items with more words in Column A. 4. Arrange items in Column B in either a logical or natural order or alphabetically if there is no apparent organizational basis? 5. Use numbers to identify items in Column A, capital letters to identify responses in Column B. 6. Correct answers should not be obvious to those who don't know the content being taught. 7. Do NOT list premises in the same order as responses, and there should NOT be a pattern in the correct answers. 8. There should NOT be keywords appearing in both a premise and response providing a clue to the correct answer. 9. All of the responses and premises for a matching item should appear on the same page. 10. Directions to the students should explain how many times responses can be used.

Suggestions in Constructing a True of False Test 1. Write out essential content statements 2. Convert half to false, though not negative, statements 3. Make true and false statements equal in length 4. Group questions by content 5. Build up to difficulty (encourage with simpler questions first) 6. Randomize sequences of T/F responses Avoid a discernable pattern 7. Vary the quantity of true/false statements from test to test recognizing that "true" is marked more often in guessing, and that assessing false statements tends to be more challenging. Suggestions for Constructing Multiple- Choice Test 1. Base each item on a specific problem stated clearly on the stem. After reading the stem, the student should know exactly what the problem is and what he or she is expected to do to solve it. If the student has to infer what the problem is, the item will likely measure the students ability to draw inferences from vague descriptions rather than his or her achievement of a course objective. Poor Example California: a. Contains the tallest mountain in the United States b. Has an eagle on its state flag. c. Is the second largest state in terms of area. *d. Was the location of the Gold Rush of 1849. Better Example What is the main reason so many people moved to California in 1849? a. California land was fertile, plentiful, and inexpensive. *b. Gold was discovered in central California c. The east was preparing for a civil war.

d. They wanted to establish religious settlements. As illustrated in the following examples, the stem may consist of either a direct question or an incomplete sentence, whichever presents the problem more clearly and concisely. 2. Include as much of the item as possible in the stem, but do not include irrelevant materials. Rather than repeating redundant words or phrases in each of the alternatives, place such material in the stem to decrease the reading burden and more clearly define the problem in the stem. Poor Example If the pressure of a certain amount of gas is held constant, what will happen if its volume is increased? a. The temperature of the gas will decrease. *b. The temperature of the gas will increase. c. The temperature of the gas will remain the same. Better Example If you increase the volume of a certain amount of gas while holding its pressure constant, its temperature will: a. Decrease. *b. Increase. c. Remain the same. Notice how the underlined words are repeated in each of the alternatives in the poor example above. This problem is fixed in the better example, where the stem has been reworded to include the words common to all of the alternatives. Excess material in the stem that is not essential to answering the problem increases the reading burden and adds to student confusion over what he or she is being asked to do. 3. State the stem in positive form (in general). Negatively-worded items are those in which the student is instructed to identify the exception, the incorrect answer, or the least correct answer. Such items are frequently used, because they are relatively easy to construct and appears more difficult. The

difficulty of such items, however, resides in lack of sentence clarity rather than the greater difficulty or the concept being measured. Positive items, however, are more appropriate to use for measuring the attainment of most educational objectives. 4. Keep the alternatives homogeneous in content. Alternatives that are parallel in content help the item present a clear-cut problem more capable of measuring the attainment of a specific objective. 5. Keep the alternatives free from clues as to which response is correct. Poorly-written items often contain clues that help students who do not know the correct answer eliminate incorrect alternatives and increase their chance of guessing correctly. Such items tend to measure how clever the students are at finding the clues rather than how well they have attained the objective being measured. 6. Avoid the alternatives all of the above and none of the above (in general). These two alternatives are frequently used when the teacher writing the item has trouble coming up with a sufficient number of distracters. Such teachers emphasize quantity of distractors over quality. Unfortunately, the use of either of these alternatives tends to reduce the effectiveness of the item. 7. Use as many functional distracters as feasible. Functional distractors are those chosen by students that have not achieved the objective and are ignored by students that have achieved the objective. In other words, they have positive discrimination. 8. Include one and only one correct or clearly best answer in each item. When more than one of the alternatives can be successfully defended as being the answer, responding to an item becomes a frustrating game of determining what the teacher had in mind when he or she wrote the item. Such ambiguity is particularly a problem with items of the best answer variety, where more than one alternative may be correct, but only one alternative should be clearly best. If competent authorities cannot agree on which alternative is clearly best, the item should either be revised or discarded. 9. Use proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. This guideline should be self-evident. Adherence to it reduces ambiguity in the item and encourages students to take your test more seriously.