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Literacy in the New Age

Posted By: Jay Powell on July 1, 2016
Please see: Powell, J. C. & Shklov N. (1992). Obtaining information about learners’ thinking strategies from wrong answers on multiple-choice tests. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 52, 847-865.
Multiple-choice tests are typically scored based on only one answer per item. This approach is required because the mathematical model employed cannot be used to include all optional selections. This scoring model ' creates classrooms in which tests are "the only arbiter of excellence."'
The paper above uses a different (non-linear) model for performance. It bypasses linear dependency, making it possible to include all answer selections.
The problem is not occur with the tests, but with the scoring procedure. Stability and change both are observable in the cross-tabulations of multiple administration of the same or closely parallel tests.
The issue is that the 'know/guess' assumption about answering behavior is invalid. Instead students "read. interpret and match" their conclusions with the options offered. In recon-ceptualizing literacy, diversity and multiple meanings is inherent. This possibility is accommodated with four options in one item and diversity of option types in many items.
The common attacks bemoaning the shortfalls of data driven education are misdirecting their attacks. The problem is not the tests, which are often beautifully crafted, but the dichotomous scoring procedure. Relativity Theory replaced this model decades ago.
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 Literacy in the New Age by Jay Powell on July 1, 2016
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