Posted By Doug Peterson
I had the pleasure of attending an ASTD certification class on Test Design and Delivery in Denver, Colorado, several weeks ago (my wife said it was no big deal, as I’ve been certifiable for a long time now). I’m going to use my blog posts for the next couple of months to pass along the highlights of what I learned.
The content for the class was developed by the good folks at ACT. During our two days together we covered the following topics:

  1. Planning the Test
  2. Creating the Test Items
  3. Creating the Test Form
  4. Delivering the Test
  5. Evaluating the Test

Over the course of this blog series, we’ll take a look at the main points from each topic in the class. We’ll look at all the things that go into writing a test before the first question is crafted, like establishing reliability and validity from the beginning and identifying content areas to be covered (as well as the number of questions needed for each area).
Next we’ll discuss some best practices for writing test items, including increasing the cognitive load and avoiding bias and stereotypes. After that we’ll discuss pulling items together into a test form, including developing instructions and setting passing scores.
The last few blogs will focus on some things you need to look at when delivering a test like security and controlling item exposure. Then we’ll look at evaluating a test’s performance by examining item-level and test-level data to improve quality and assess reliability.
As we work our way through this series of blogs, be sure to ask questions and share your thoughts in the comments section!
Posts in this series:

  1. Planning the Test
  2. Determining Content
  3. Final Planning Considerations
  4. Writing Test Items
  5. Avoiding Bias and Stereotypes
  6. Preparing to Create the Assessment
  7. Assembling the Test Form
  8. Delivering the Test
  9. Content Protection and Secure Delivery
  10. Evaluating the Test