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Assessment and the Construction of Meaning for Instruction and Learning

Forehand, Garlie A.; Messick, Samuel J.; Tittle, Carol Kehr
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Instructional Assessment, Learning Processes, Test Use


This report consists of three separate papers, each focusing on a different part of the learning-assessment process: the learner, the teacher and the assessment- developer. The first paper, by Garlie Forehand, focuses on the learner as a user of assessment information. This paper discusses factors that may contribute to the learner's construction of meaning and their implications for assessment development. It draws examples from interviews with students conducted shortly after a computer-based instructional assessment experience, and presents initial steps toward building a framework to interpret such data. The second paper, by Carol Kerr Tittle, addresses the meaning and use of assessments by teachers. It focuses on the meaning and effects of student assessments for teachers, and describes one framework or domain analysis that might guide research and validation strategies. The third paper, by Samuel Messick, focuses on the assessment developer. It addresses three main questions: 1) are there differences between psychometric standards for instructional assessment and standards for other assessment purposes such as accountability or selection? 2) what does locally constructed context-sensitive score interpretation and use imply, if anything, for the validation process in instructional assessment? and 3) if instructional assessment is fundamentally assessment in context, what constitutes context in this connection and what are the roles of context in delineating and validating score meaning and use?

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