"What’s the first thing the author of a test should do? If you think that writing the first question is a good way to start, think again," explains Questionmark's Doug Peterson.
A new white paper from assessment technologies and services provider Questionmark offers instructional designers, test authors and other learning professionals valuable tips for creating high-quality tests efficiently – starting with careful planning rather than writing any test items.
Five Steps to Better Tests explains best practices for five key processes:
1. Planning the test: what to consider before writing any questions
2. Creating the test items: how to ensure questions are fair, avoiding bias and stereotypes
3. Creating the test form: including developing instructions and setting passing scores
4. Delivering the test: providing for secure delivery and controlling item exposure
5. Evaluating the test: How to use item-level and test-level data to improve the quality of an assessment
Questionmark Product Owner Doug Peterson, who wrote the white paper, has extensive experience in workforce development. His previous roles included researching and writing IT training materials, authoring self-paced e-learning courses, developing online assessments and teaching in the classroom as well as online.
“Following good practices in creating assessments makes for trustable results,” says Peterson. “This white paper should help readers start out right by carefully planning their tests to establish validity and reliability – and following through with careful attention to the quality of test items and overall content, secure delivery and thorough analysis of the results. The paper reflects our desire not only to provide tools and technologies for delivering and analyzing assessments, but also to create learning resources that help people make effective use of them.”
This 16-page paper is available for download at: Five Steps to Better Tests.