Compare and contrast three standardized tests related to your specialization based on Elements 1–4 of the Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education. Record findings, references, and a robust rationale on a worksheet. Select one test for further analysis in Assessments 2–4.
Note: Synthesizing the evaluation of test materials and procedures requires specific steps that must be carried out in a certain order. Therefore, you must complete the assessments in this course in the order in which they are presented.
As a psychologist, social worker, counselor, therapist, researcher, mental health professional, or educator, your profession will utilize some form of tests and measurements. Even if you do not plan on administering tests, you still need to understand the results described in evaluation reports. Even if you will not need to read reports of evaluations, you will need to keep current with the professional literature.
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:
- Competency 1: Apply terminology, principles, statistical concepts, and psychometric features related to the construction and application of psychological tests.
- Describe how the three selected tests and category are related to one’s area of specialization and career goals.
- Define the purpose for testing, the content and skills to be tested, and the intended test-takers for the three tests.
- Describe the appropriateness of test content, skills tested, and content coverage for the intended purpose of testing for the three tests.
- Describe materials provided by test developers and whether the information provided is clear, accurate, and complete for the three tests.
- Compare and contrast the three tests based on Elements 1–4 in the Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education.
- Competency 3: Evaluate the properties, techniques, and applications used in psychological evaluation.
- Recommend one test for further analysis, based on analysis of Elements 1–4 of the Code of Fair Testing in Education.
- Competency 4: Evaluate the legal, ethical, and professional issues related to test usage.
- Analyze the level of professional knowledge, skills, and training required to administer and interpret the three tests.
- Competency 7: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with expectations for members of the psychological profession.
- Write clearly and logically, with correct use of spelling, grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and APA format and style.
- QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
As you prepare to complete this assessment, you may want to think about other related issues to deepen your understanding or broaden your viewpoint. You are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of your professional community. Note that these questions are for your own development and exploration and do not need to be completed or submitted as part of your assessment.
- Which categories of tests are you most likely to use in your current (or anticipated) profession?
- What is a standardized test?
- How are test norms developed for a test?
- What are the three types of reliability evidence? How is the evidence collected for each type?
- What are the three types of validity evidence? How is the evidence collected for each type?
- What is the relationship between test reliability and validity?
- How are validity and reliability coefficients interpreted?
The following are required to complete this assessment.
This resource is available from the Capella University Bookstore:
- American Educational Research Association. (2014). Standards for educational and psychological testing. Washington, DC: Author.
- Chapter 9, “The Rights and Responsibilities of Test Users,” pages 139–148.
- Chapter 10, “Psychological Testing and Assessment,” pages 151–168.
Please note that links may change frequently. Permissions to use the following links have been granted, or the links have been deemed appropriate for educational use at the time of course publication.
The resources provided here are optional. You may use other resources of your choice to prepare for this assessment; however, you will need to ensure that they are appropriate, credible, and valid. The PSY-FP7610 – Tests and Measurements Library Guide can help direct your research, and the Supplemental Resources and Research Resources, both linked from the left navigation menu in your courseroom, provide additional resources to help support you.
Library resources by topic:
Capella University Library Resources
- Groth-Marnat, G., & Wright, A. J. (2016). Handbook of psychological assessment. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
- This handbook covers topics related to the evaluation of a psychological test (see Chapter 1), and introduction to several specific instruments, including but not limited to:
- Wechsler Intelligence Scales.
- Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory.
- Million Clinical Multiaxial Inventory.
- NEO Personality Inventory.
- Additionally, this text offers an introduction to completing the following assessments: clinical, behavioral, personality, and neuropsychological.
- Urbina, S. (2014). Essentials of psychological testing. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
- The text provides information about test score interpretation using two possible frames of reference: norms and performance criteria. These references are often referred to as norm-referenced and criterion-referenced interpretation.
- Salkind, N. J. (2007). Encyclopedia of measurement and statistics. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
- This resource provides brief overviews of criterion-referenced testing and correlation coefficient.
- Shrock, S. A, & Coscarelli, W. C. (2008). Criterion-referenced test development: Technical and legal guidelines for corporate training (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
- This text is a comprehensive review of developing a test with criterion-referencing for interpretation. The book includes background to criterion-referenced testing, test theory, creation of a test, and legal issues around this type of test.
- Popham, J. W. (2014). Criterion-referenced measurement: Half a century wasted? Educational Leadership, 71(6), 62–68.
- This reading compares and contrasts norm-referenced and criterion-referenced tests. It is a brief introduction to these two frames of reference in testing and clarifies their similarities and differences.
These resources are available from the Capella University Bookstore:
- Cohen, R. J., Swerklik, M. E., & Sturman, E. D. (2013). Psychological testing and assessment: An introduction to tests and measurement (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
This assessment requires you to focus on what will likely be a common task in your future career, regardless of the area of specialization you are studying at Capella: the review and selection of an appropriate, quality, standardized test. There are a multitude of published tests in the fields of education and psychology; many purport to measure the same constructs, content, or skills. Is there a checklist or procedure to help a professional make the best choice among those tests for a specific purpose? The answer is yes: It is the Joint Committee on Testing Practices’ (2004) Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education.
Although the code addresses the roles of test developers and test users separately, you will be following the standards for test users and, specifically, the section on selecting tests (refer to page 5 of the code, which is linked in the Required Resources). There are nine elements to consider when selecting a test. For this assessment, you will focus on the first four of these elements. You may choose to identify more than one category of interest if it applies to your academic and professional goals.
Your first step is to identify a test category that is relevant to your academic and professional career goals. Refer to the List of Tests by Type PDF in the Required Resources, which provides your choice of tests by category for this assessment.
Select a test category relevant to your professional training and goals. You will compare and contrast three tests from the category you choose in this assessment, selecting one test for in-depth analysis for the remaining three assessments in this course.
- Access the Capella Library and conduct a search using the Mental Measurements Yearbook (MMY) database (linked in the Resources) to locate and read a review for each test. Mental Measurements Yearbook is available on the Databases A-Z page in the Capella Library. It is also linked in the Resources of this course. (Note: Do not access the Buros Web site directly from your web browser. If you do, Buros will request that you start an account to pay for the reviews. As a Capella learner, you can access these reviews without charge through the Capella University Library.)
- Visit the publisher’s Web site for each test to obtain additional information.
- Use the Capella library’s Databases A–Z: Psychology (linked in the Resources) to choose a database, for example, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, ERIC (education research), et cetera.
- Search for peer-reviewed journal articles that are relevant to the four elements and each test. You can limit your search results by selecting journals only from the database.
Review the Required readings from your Standards text before beginning this assessment.
- Use the List of Tests by Type PDF in the Required Resources to select three tests from one or two categories. Select a test category that is relevant to your professional training and goals.
- Use the Assessment 1 Template: Review and Selection of a Standardized Test worksheet in the Required Resources to complete this assessment.
For this assessment, assume the role of a professional in a setting related to your specialization.
Your supervisor has assigned you the responsibility of reviewing and selecting a standardized test to be used in your setting. Knowing that you will be expected to provide an evidence-based rationale for your selection, construct a compare and contrast worksheet for your notes and prepare a summary of your analysis with academic references.
Record all information on the Assessment 1 Template: Review and Selection of a Standardized Test worksheet. There are three sections. The Scoring Guide criteria are italicized.
Section One: Test Review Table
Describe how the three selected tests and category are related to one’s area of specialization and career goal.
- Identify a professional setting (specialization) and the three tests you researched and reviewed.
- Select the three tests from a single category* using the List of Tests by Type document. The List of Tests by Type document identifies the 10 categories you may choose from. They include (1) intelligence/cognitive abilities, (2) achievement/aptitude, (3) personality, (4) behavior, (5) adaptive behavior, (6) neuropsychological, (7) career/business/organization, (8) autism, (9) depression, and (10) preschool.
*You may select a test from two categories, if it aligns with your professional goals.
Findings: Compare and contrast these three tests according to the Code’s first four (1–4) elements. Use the element title as a subheading under Findings.
Define the purpose for testing, the content and skills to be tested, and the intended test-takers for the three tests.
- Element 1. “Define the purpose for testing, the content and skills to be tested, and the intended test takers” (Joint Committee on Testing Practices, 2004, p. 6, See #1). Describe your findings for all three tests, citing references. Use this section to introduce each test and report on each of the three elements: purpose, content and skills, and intended test-takers.
Describe the appropriateness of test content, skills tests, and content coverage for the intended purpose of testing for the three tests.
- Element 2. Describe “the appropriateness of test content, skills tested, and content coverage for the intended purpose of testing” (Joint Committee on Testing Practices, 2004, p. 6, See #2). Describe your findings for each test, citing references. Use this section to report on unique comments or research that evaluate any aspects of the appropriateness of each test. There may be a wide range of facets considering appropriateness that may be unique to each particular test under consideration.
Describe materials provided by test developers and whether the information provided is clear, accurate, and complete for the three tests.
- Element 3. Describe “materials provided by test developers and select tests for which clear, accurate, and complete information is provided” (Joint Committee on Testing Practices, 2004, p. 6. See #3). Describe your findings for each test, citing references. Use this section to describe either reviews or your evaluation of the materials described in the sources you locate for each test under consideration.
Analyze the level of professional knowledge, skills, and training required to administer and interpret the three tests.
- Element 4. “Select tests through a process that includes persons with appropriate knowledge, skills, and training” (Joint Committee on Testing Practices, 2004, p. 6. See #4). Include specific publisher information about test-user qualification (for example, Level A, B, or C; or other classification). Describe your findings for each test.
Section Two: Test Selection and Rationale
Compare and contrast the three tests based on Elements 1–4 in the code of Fair Testing Practices in Education.
- Compare and contrast the three tests based on these four elements (i.e., I–IV).
Recommend one test for further analysis, based on analysis of Elements 1–4 of the Code of Fair Testing in Education.
- Select one of the three tests which is most applicable to your current professional setting or to a setting you may choose in the future. Provide a rationale for test selection.
Section Three: References
- Add references to support your analysis and rationale.
Write clearly and logically, with correct use of spelling, grammar. punctuation, mechanics, and APA format and style.
- References: A minimum of nine references are required for this assessment.
- Three Mental Measurements Yearbook test reviews from (one for each test).
- Three test publisher Web sites (one for each test).
- Three peer-reviewed journal articles (one for each test).
- Current APA format and style is required throughout. Be sure to use correct format and style for each respective type of reference, for example, Web site versus journal).
- Times New Roman font, 12 pt.
Joint Committee on Testing Practices. (2004). Code of fair testing practices in education. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/science/programs/testing/fair-testing.pdf
Assessment 1 ContexThink about what first drew you to the field of psychology. Did you want to work with or help people? Did you want to improve your understanding or your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors? Did you want to do research in the field or at a university? Or, perhaps you wanted to teach others about psychology?
You likely (hopefully), started your journey with excitement for the subject. Now, comes this course, and you may be asking, “Why do I have to take a course in tests and measurements?” You likely have had many experiences with tests in your own school or work history. Perhaps they were positive experiences; perhaps they were negative experiences. Everyone brings a bit of bias with their unique history. Sometimes, the history of testing itself brings a bias that remains timeless. How do we discern what is true about testing, be it good or bad?
Regardless of what motivated you to study psychology, understanding tests and measurements will be an important skill set for all the possible roles you may take in the future. The content in this course offers the ability to develop the skills that are prerequisite to being a competent professional in the field—be it as a psychometrist, counselor, program evaluator, organizational or behavior consultant, or a clinical, educational, or school psychologist.
So, if you took time to think about why you need tests and measurements, as well as your own history with testing, then you will explore why we have testing in the first place. Would the world be better off if there were no tests at all? Some may suggest that a test-free world would be desirable; while other may think that testing is the perfect tool for answering questions in the field, whether it involves working with individual people or entire organizations.
Think about this: Would you like the idea of being operated on by a surgeon who never had his or her medical and surgical knowledge and skills assessed? Would you like the idea of flying with an airline pilot who was never tested for his or her skills as a pilot? Or what about you? Would you prefer that your grade in a course be based on the instructor’s general impression of you, or on your graded performance on assignments, discussions, and tests?
So, you may (hopefully) prefer graded performance on a test over an instructor’s general impression of you. However, you may likely want that final test, or any test you take, to be properly constructed to measure what it purports to measure, to be consistent in that measurement, and to provide information that is appropriate for the question being asked. For example, we could plan on collecting information on either:
1. How well you did on a test based on predetermined levels of proficiency or criterion.
2. Your performance reflected as a position relative to all other learners, or a normative group.
For this course, your work will be scored according to the first option, or criterion-referenced scores. There are advantages to either approach.
We explored the why of your interest in the field of psychology, the why of studying tests and measurements, and the how of tests and measurements. Hopefully, you are convinced about the importance of the content that you will experience in this course in terms of it preparing you to be a competent professional in the field.
Psychology professionals use or interpret tests to assess behaviors; they must be trained how to determine the appropriate test for a setting and individual. It essential to understand the concepts, applications, and procedures for obtaining various statistics that are generated with the tests used in the field, as well as best practices defined by the Joint Committee on Testing Practices.
There are four scales of measurement, which are easily remembered with the acronym NOIR—nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio. Each of these levels or scales of measurement has its own properties, methods for assigning numbers or scores, and procedures for statistically manipulating them. All possible attributes in psychology can be examined through at least one of these four scales and the creation of scores that purport to measure them. You will come across one or more of these scales as you research different published tests in the field of psychology. It is important that you understand each scale’s properties and limitations in terms of using data obtained from them, as well as how we interpret those data through the use of normative or criterion-referenced tests.