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Title:Performance assessment and inferences of achievement. (Volumes I-III)
Author(s):Mabry, Linda
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Stake, Robert E.
Department / Program:Education, Tests and Measurements
Education, Secondary
Psychology, Psychometrics
Discipline:Education, Tests and Measurements
Education, Secondary
Psychology, Psychometrics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Tests and Measurements
Education, Secondary
Psychology, Psychometrics
Abstract:Performance assessment has quickly become a critical topic in education because of the promises of advocates, dissatisfaction with standardized testing, and desires for meaningful evaluation of student achievement consistent with good curricula and pedagogy. Amid many new assessment practices stands a rare, mature program: the Rite of Passage Experience (R.O.P.E.), a year-long assessment of seniors at a small, alternative public high school in Racine, Wisconsin named Walden III: In the Process of Discovery.
Empirical evidence of the validity of inferences of achievement formed by R.O.P.E. assessment teams was sought by means of a validation and a case study. Extensive observations, interviews, and document analysis focused on R.O.P.E. assessment events, perceptions of assessors and assessees, and contexts. Particular attention was paid to demonstrations of mastery and portfolios of a sample, partly purposeful and partly randomized, of 11 students.
From voluminous data, the following assertions were drawn. (a) Inferences of student achievement arising from R.O.P.E. assessments were substantially valid, based on deep familiarity with seniors' academic and personal accomplishments in 16 areas. (b) R.O.P.E. exhibited extremely strong consequential validity. Direct educational benefits to students included self-initiated learning and focused preparation for their post-secondary goals. Educational and transformative benefits to students actually outweighed R.O.P.E.'s assessment value. R.O.P.E. also enhanced coherence of the school's educational efforts. (c) Only naturally occurring reliability is valuable. Efforts aimed at raising reliability tend to be educationally counterproductive and to compromise validity because they standardize rather than individualize, drawing attention away from students' unique achievements. R.O.P.E. exhibited strong reliability despite an absence of standardizing factors usually assumed necessary to achieve satisfactory levels of reliability. Contrary to psychometric dogma, a claim is made that reliability is neither necessary nor sufficient for validity. (d) Education needs to emphasize personalized and proleptic student assessment, including individualized standards, and to deemphasize standardized test scores. The validity of R.O.P.E.-based inferences was closely related to the extraordinary personalization of the assessment process.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Mabry, Linda
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9522145
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9522145

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