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Alternative Modes of Assessment, Uniform Standards of Validity

Messick, Samuel J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Construct Validity, Performance Assessment, Standards


In contrast to multiple choice, alternative modes of assessment afford varying degrees of openness in the allowable responses. Prominent among the alternatives is the assessment of performance, sometimes in its own right where the issue is the quality of the particular performance per se, but more often as vehicle for the assessment of knowledge, skill, or other attributes. Because inferences about score meaning in construct terms and about the action implications of that meaning are fundamentally similar in the alternative assessment modes (despite surface differences), the same standards of validity apply to all educational and psychological measurement. These standards are addressed in terms of content, substantive, structural, generalizability, external, and consequential aspects of construct validity. (26pp.)

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