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St. Mary's Catholic College 6th Form


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St. Mary's Catholic College 6th Form
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Effective Test Item Writing:
The Art & Science of Assessment
December 1, 2009
P. Eugene Jones, Ph.D., PA-C
Southwestern School of Health ProfessionsDisclosure
• Speaker has no conflicts of interest to
disclose for this presentationSeven Major Points
• Exam characteristics
• Learning domains
• The examination process
• Focus on multiple choice questions
• Item analysis
• Point biserial correlation coefficient
• Measuring ACGME CompetenciesThe Art
• Creatively engage learners
• Fair and meaningful assessment
• Produce relevant data on learner
developmentThe Science
• Assessment design
• Item writing
• Item analysis
• Grading procedures
Worthen BR, Borg WR, White KR. (1993). Measurement and evaluation in the schools. New York:
Longman.Interchangeable Terms
• Exam
• Test
• AssessmentPurposes of Assessment
• Communicate what is important
• Evaluation drives behavior
• Identify areas of student or course
• Determine grades
Modified from: Kirk LM, Margraf, LR. Test Writing Workshop. Effective Teacher Series, UT
Southwestern Medical Center, January 25, 2007.Effective Exam Characteristics
RealisticEffective Exam Characteristics
• 1) Validity
– Providing useful information about the
concepts designed to be tested
• Measuring here-and-now achievement
•res accuracyEffective Exam Characteristics
• 2) Reliability
– Allowing consistent measurement and
discrimination between different levels of
• Measures precision