Evaluation and Testing in Nursing Education

By Marilyn H. Oermann; Kathleen B. Gaberson | Go to book overview

Chapter 2
Qualities of Effective Measurement Instruments
How does a teacher know if a test or another measurement instrument is good? If the results of measurement procedures will be used to make important educational decisions, teachers must have confidence in their interpretations of test scores. Good measurement tools produce results that can be used to make appropriate inferences about learners’ knowledge and abilities. In addition, measurement tools should be practical and easy to use.Two important questions have been posed to guide the process of constructing or proposing tests:
1. To what extent will the interpretation of the scores be appropriate, meaningful, and useful for the intended application of the results, and
2. What are the consequences of the particular uses and interpretations that are made of the results? (Linn & Gronlund, 2000)

This chapter will explain the concept of measurement validity, the role of reliability, and their effects on the interpretive quality of measurement results. It will also discuss important practical considerations that might affect the choice or development of tests and other instruments.


MEASUREMENT VALIDITY

Definitions of validity have changed over time. Early definitions, in the 1940s and early 1950s, emphasized the validity of the test itself. Tests were characterized as valid or not, apart from a consideration of how they were used. It was common

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