The Australian State of Victoria’s standard educational assessments include computer-adaptive tests (CATs), reports their new, free manual
on report interpretation. I was pleased to discover that the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority uses the most modern form of human assessment to help children of all ages learn.
In particular, it is noteworthy that their easy-to-read manual includes an understanding of Rasch Measurement. It notes the specific locations where there are items that are out of scope for a given assessment. In these places, the child is mismatched with the test – the questions are either too hard or too easy to produce a trustworthy metric.
I’m hopeful that Australia’s educational leadership rubs off on more schools around the world.
Posted in Assessment, Computer Adaptive Measurement, Computer Adaptive Testing, Education, Item Response Theory, Psychometrics, Rasch Measurement
Tagged CAT, Children, Computer Adaptive Testing, Education, IRT, Item Response Theory, Learning, Pedagogy, Rasch, Rasch Measurement, Training
Nine schools in Utah have found the benefits of Computer-Adaptive Testing to trump older methods. Adaptive tests change to match a student’s skill level, avoiding wasted time and effort on questions that are far below or above their proficiency level. They’re also at least 20% shorter. This allows for periodic reassessment, and personalized focus on the specific curricular areas a learner needs to work on. Each student is treated as a special, unique person.
But the US Federal Government’s Department of Education is behind the times, and making it difficult for Utah to use the modern psychometric methods, according to Utah’s Daily Herald. The “No Child Left Behind Act” requires outdated, non-adaptive methods to be used in addition to the modern approaches. While on the surface, the DoE’s request for peer review is something that is good, in applied settings, it’s rarely used. The instruments I’ve developed would certainly pass the scrutiny of my peers, and the feedback they give is useful. But these extra steps are typically unnecessary to ensure that instrumentation is useful, as long as professionals develop the Computer-Adaptive Tests. It’s downright destructive to children for the federal government to force Utah to use outdated, longer, and less precise measures of learning. While I presume those favored by Washington are “peer reviewed”, I suspect that the review committee is selected by those who are friends of politicians, and are likely unskilled in the recent developments in computer-adaptive measurement.
Fortunately, Utah appears to have visionary, contemporary leadership about steadfastly supporting good measurement to help children learn. The Utah Legislature, the State School Board and Governor all approved the plan to continue to use it – and the Feds require the outdated assessments to be used as well. This is both a hassle, unnecessary cost, and an opportunity cost – the children could have been spending the time they’ll take on the DoE tests on learning something new. Are you a visionary leader like the folks in Utah? More by The Scientific Leader on Computer-Adaptive Measurement, applied to organizations and business is free here.
Posted in Assessment, Computer Adaptive Measurement, Computer Adaptive Testing, Item Response Theory, Leadership, Psychometrics, Rasch Measurement
Tagged Bureaucrat, CAT, Child, Computer Adaptive Testing, Education, Government, IRT, Leadership, Learning, No Child Left Behind, Psychometrics, Rasch Measurement, Training
The announcement of Sergey Brin’s new blog, highlighting the value and challenges of his wife’s new genetic testing firm highlights one sort of risk in Enterprise Risk Management.
The California Department of Public Health caused feelings of terror in genetic testing services when they announced that they would shut them down if they didn’t first pay the government tribute. Brin’s wife is a cofounder of 23andMe, a genetic testing service.
This made me wonder – if 23andMe’s leaders were sufficiently savvy with influence skill, and relationship management with regulators, would they have a higher probability of surviving an encounter with the CDPH? Robert Cialdini‘s research suggests they would; and it suggests that a portion of managing business risk includes ensuring relationships and the skills that create them are sufficiently high as to weather these types of unforeseen government threats.
Technorati Tags: Influence, Government, Enterprise Risk Management, Skill, Assessment
I’m fond of the free online tool Udutu to design and develop eLearning. It has great tutorials, based on good educational psychological science, and can be exported in standard formats for deployment either on your own Learning Management System, or in theirs. I’ve successfully created a Rasch Measurement course, exporting it in SCORM 2004 format, and uploading into a Learning Management System