Justen V. Seay
E6510, Measurement and Assessment in Education
Jaclyn Gerstein, Instructor
Because of the constantly shifting nature of assessments, an alignment on certain definitions is necessary to ensure a consistency within the educational community. A lack of consistency would cause results to me measured incorrectly and the reliability and validity of certain assessments may be taken into question. The first of these terms is a criterion-referenced test. Miller, Linn and Grounlund (2009) identify a criterion reference test as one that “describes student performance according to a specified domain of clearly fined learning tasks.” Criterion reference tests are usually teacher created. Fairtest.org (2010) confirms this definition and states that they are, “intended to measure how well a person has learned a specific body of knowledge and skills.”
The second of the terms that must be aligned is demographic. Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary (2011) states that a demographic is” the statistical characteristics of human populations (as age or income) used especially to identify markets.” Entrepreneur.com (2011) defines demographics as “A statistical view of a population, generally including age, gender, income, schooling, and occupation.” These two definitions are similar in nature, but I particular agree with the use of the “view” because it tells us the demographics give us insight into a particular group of people.
A raw score, according to Miller, Linn and Grounlund (2009) is “the number of points received on a test when the test has been scored according to the directions.” Merriam-Webster defines raw score as “an individual's actual achievement score (as on a test) before being adjusted for relative position in the test group.” Though these definitions are similar, Merriam-Webster gives us insight that a raw score is usually adjusted to demonstrate a person’s ranking or position within a group.
A standard score is “an individual test score expressed as the deviation from the mean score of the group in units of standard deviation.” (Merriam-Webster, 2011) Fraenkel & Wallen describe a standard score as “a derived score that expresses how far a given raw score is from the mean, in terms of standard deviation units.” Standard scores give us a measurement of where students relate to each other.
Percentile rank is “an index of relative position indicating the percentage scores that fall at or below a given score.” (Fraenkel & Wallen, 2006) The Educational Testing Service which administers the Graduate Record Examination, along with several other education related tests, defines percentile rank as “the percent of examinees in a group or subgroup who obtained scores on a particular test lower than a specified score.” Their definition is much more specific and descriptive of this statistical term.
Grade equivalent is a numerical value which gives an indication of a student’s approximate academic level. For instance, a 2.9 grade equivalent would indicate that a student is working at a 2nd grade ninth month grade level. Fraenkel & Wallen state that a grade equivalent score “indicates the grade level for which a particular performance is typical.” Edperformance.com (2011), identifies it as “a comparison of grade levels nationally.”
Criterion- and standards- referenced tests. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.fairtest.org/criterion-and-standards-referenced-tests
Edperformance.com. (2011). Student profile report. Retrieved from http://admin.edperformance.com/ students.
ETS. (2010). Interpreting gre scores. Retrieved from http://www.ets.org/s/gre/pdf/ gre_interpreting_scores.pdf.
Fraenkel, J, & Wallen, N. (2006). How to design and evaluate research in education. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Miller, David M., Linn, Robert L., & Gronlund, Norman E. (2009). Measurement and assessment in teaching, (10th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Enterpreneur.com, Initials. (2011). Demographics. Retrieved from http://www.entrepreneur.com/ encyclopedia/term/82226.html.