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NIFL-ASSESSMENT 2005: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:889] Choosing the right

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From: Marie Cora (
Date: Fri Jan 21 2005 - 12:24:26 EST

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Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:889] Choosing the right tool
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Hi all,
This stems from the spelling discussion.  I wanted to post this list of
questions that you can ask when you are trying to select an assessment.
The source is me.  You can also go the the Collection section entitled
Manager/Administrator Resources
( and
click on "Guidelines for Selecting, Administering, and Taking Tests"
within the text there - it brings you to several resources that also
help you make informed decisions about selecting assessments.  Finally,
if the assessment is a published test (some non-published tests also
provide these), then a Norms Book and the Administrator's Guide will
come with the package - those books answer all the questions that are
posed below.  In other words, you can find the answers ABOUT THE TEST
within the accompanying Norms Book and Admin Guide.  But you must answer
these questions yourself about your own situation in order to figure out
how to match your need with some assessment.
Hey!  What do you all think?
*	Purpose: What are you selecting a test for? Initial placement?
Determine level of proficiency? Determine progress? Certify skills?
Entrance into program? Teacher/program evaluation? Funding requirements?

*	Approach: What is the test's approach: is it structural?
norm-referenced? criterion-referenced? competency-based?
standards-based? How does the test's approach fit with your
*	Target Population: Who are the students your program serves?
ESOL? ABE? GED? Workplace? Who was the test normed on? (Developed for?)
Does your target population fit the population that the test was normed
*	Administration: Are there administration/training requirements
for purchase? What level of personnel is needed to administer the test?
Is the test group-administered, or individually-administered, and what
are the implications of each for your purposes? 
*	Purchase: Is the cost of the test prohibitive? 
*	Test length/constraints: How long does the test take to
complete? Is it a timed test, and is that appropriate for the target
marie cora
Moderator, NIFL Assessment Discussion List, and 
Coordinator/Developer LINCS Assessment Special Collection at

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