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CREATE Week: Validating Key Assessments for Accreditation Purposes by Jaqueline Craven

Greetings, colleagues! This is Jacqueline Craven with a quick glimpse of but one way to work with educational professionals concerned with establishing validity & reliability for their own assessments. I coordinate a doctoral program in Teacher Education, Leadership, and Research and as such, am a member of the standard 5 committee for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) at my institution, Delta State University (DSU).  We are responsible for assisting fellow professors in teacher education with validating key assessments used for accreditation purposes.

This charge is significant for several reasons. Namely, CAEP standards are still quite new, as those for advanced programs were only released in fall. Many university professors across the U. S. have only just begun interacting with and drafting plans for implementation. Additionally, these standards are designed to replace National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards, which have never required validated instruments. Next, even professors can admittedly lack the knowledge and skills required for determining the value of what are typically self-made assessments. Finally, as we all know, many teachers (and professors!) are intimidated by “evaluation talk” and simply need sound guidance in navigating the issues involved.

To address the issue, I have composed a 1-page set of guidelines for improving these assessments  and for establishing content validity & inter-rater reliability. Naturally, this could be used not only with professors in teacher education, but also with K12 practitioners who want improved assessments yet have little experience with instrument validation.

Hot Tips: When conveying evaluation information to the non-measurement-minded, keep the details organized into manageable chunks. Also, provide a good example from the participants’ field (i.e., comfort zone). Use participants’ zones of proximal development to target the message.

Rad Resources: First, I suggest Neil Salkind’s (2013) Tests & Measurements for People Who (Think They) Hate Tests & Measurement, by Sage Publications, Inc. He writes assessment advice in even the novice’s native tongue. Next, feel free to use my guidelines as a starting point toward progress of your own. When working toward a non-negotiable goal such as accreditation, the onus is ours to foster growth in evaluation literacy.

Do you have ideas to share for effectively empowering professionals in basic evaluation concepts?

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching (CREATE) week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from members of CREATE. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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