quality performance standards

Resources to be considered are human resources, material resources, and time. For a discussion on reliability in the context of performance assessment see Crocker and Algina (1986); Dunbar, Koretz and Hoover (1991); NRC (1997); and Shavelson, Baxter and Gao (1993). Differences in the priorities placed on the various quality standards will be reflected in the amounts and kinds of resources that are needed. Evidence based on internal structure. For example, calibration could be used to estimate, on the basis of a short assessment, the percentage of students in a program or in a state who would achieve a given standard if they were to take a longer, more reliable assessment. As Braun said, “We need to begin to develop some serious models for continuous improvement so we avoid the rigidity of a given system and the inevitable gamesmanship that would then be played out in order to try to beat the system.”. First, the NRS is essentially an ordinal scale2 that breaks up what is, in fact, a continuum of proficiency into six levels that are not necessarily evenly spaced. Third, claims about the consequences of test use include an argument that the intended consequences of test use actually occur and that possible unintended or unfavorable consequences do not occur. In general, the specific approaches that should be used depend on the specific assessment situation and the unit of analysis and should address the potential sources of error that have been identified. Evidence that the scores are related to other indicators of the construct and are not related to other indicators of different constructs needs to be collected. Evidence that the observed relationships among the individual tasks or parts of the assessment are as specified in the construct definition can be collected through various kinds of quantitative analyses, including factor analysis and the investigation of dimensionality and differential item functioning. ment, the assessment can be said to be practical or feasible. Rather, consideration of these standards should inform every decision that is made, from the beginning of test design to final decision making based on the assessment results. If gain scores are used to evaluate program effectiveness, the relative insensitivity of the NRS levels may be unfair to students and programs that are making progress within but not across these levels. Because most performance assessments include several different facets of measurement (e.g., tasks, forms, raters, occasions), a logical analysis of the potential sources of inconsistency or measurement error should be made in order to ascertain the kinds of data that need to be collected. Inconsistencies across the different facets of measurement lead to measurement error or unreliability. In these cases, specific accommodations, or modifications in the standardized assessment procedures, may result in more useful assessments. The following types of measures must be included in performance standards to ensure adequate performance assessment: quantity, quality, timeliness, cost effectiveness and/or manner of performance. Publishers or states interested in developing assessments for adult education could be asked to state explicitly how the assessments relate to the framework, whether it is the NRS framework or the Equipped for the Future (EFF) framework, and to clearly document the measurement properties of their assessments. Standards can be classified and formulated according to frames of references (used for setting and evaluating nursing care services) relating to nursing structure, process and outcome, because standard is a descriptive statement of desired level of performance against which to evaluate the quality of service structure, process or outcomes. A reliable assessment is one that is consistent across these different facets of measurement. If there is strong evidence that the assessment is free of bias and that all test takers have been given fair treatment in the assessment process, then conditions for fairness have been met. IFC's Environmental and Social Performance Standards define IFC clients' responsibilities for managing their environmental and social risks. The Standards discusses four aspects of fairness: (1) lack of bias, (2) equitable treatment in the testing process, (3) equality in outcomes of testing, and (4) opportunity to learn (AERA et al., 1999:74-76). However, there is a cost for this in terms of the expense of developing and scoring the assessment, the amount of testing time required, and lower levels of reliability. The resulting reported scores need to be sensitive to relatively small increments in individual achievement and to individual differences among students. Several general types of comparability and associated ways of demonstrating comparability of assessments have been discussed in the measurement literature (e.g., Linn, 1993; Mislevey, 1992; NRC, 1999c). Thus, for a low-stakes classroom assessment for diagnosing students’ areas of strength and weakness, concerns for authenticity and educational relevance may be more important than more technical considerations, such as reliability, generalizability, and comparability. If the groups used to collect data for estimating reliability either are too small or do not adequately represent the groups for which the assessments are intended, reliability estimates may be biased.

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