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Educational Assessment of Students, Loose-Leaf Version, 7th Edition

By Susan M. Brookhart, Anthony J. Nitko

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Jan 7, 2014


Note: This is the loose-leaf version of Educational Assessment of Students and does not include access to the Pearson eText. To order the Pearson eText packaged with the loose-leaf version, use ISBN 0133830268.


Written for a first course in classroom assessment and educational testing, this text is particularly suited for courses that seek to teach students (1) how to use and construct formative and summative assessments for classroom teaching and (2) the basics of educational measurement. The book provides complete coverage of educational assessment, including developing plans that integrate teaching and assessment; using formative assessment strategies and providing effective feedback to students; crafting objective, performance, and portfolio assessments; evaluating students and discussing evaluations with parents; and interpreting state-mandated tests and standardized achievement tests.


From reviews of the book:


“I find the style of this text very engaging and accessible for students.  The checklists in the item creation chapters and the examples throughout are very strong and [are] concrete ways to solidify sometimes abstract or new concepts for students. . . . The key strengths to this text are the number and quality of examples and visual aids (charts, tables) that clarify concepts for beginning assessment students.  Another strength is the applied approach to writing assessment items.”

  --Heidi Legg Burross, University of Arizona


“In my opinion, this is the most comprehensive and user-friendly textbook on classroom assessment currently in publication.  It is appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate courses, it supports the course objectives well, and the students like it and praise it. . . . An overall benefit of this text is that it parallels the content we have selected for this course so well that we can eliminate some of the lecture material that we traditionally used and focus more on the practical application of the principles.”

  --Kathryn Anderson Alvestad, University of Maryland, College Park



“This textbook has been thorough in each of its editions, reflecting the contemporary issues, practices and thought related to educational assessment with no glaring omissions. The authors have done a fine job in covering the relevant topics both in the necessary depth and scope appropriate for an introductory educational assessment course. . . . The writing, illustrations, and graphics are clear and engaging, making the textbook a favorite among our graduate students.”

  --Charles Thomas, George Mason



Table of Contents

Part I The Bases for Assessment


1 Classroom Decision Making and Using

Assessment 1

Assessment and Classroom Decisions 2

Assessment and Educational Decisions

About Students 2

Distinctions Among Assessments, Tests,

Measurements, and Evaluations 8

High-Stakes Assessment and Accountability 13

Acquiring the Knowledge and Skills to

Assess Students 16

Conclusion 17

Exercises 17


2 Describing the Goals of Instruction 18

Importance of Specifying Learning

Outcomes 19

Educational Goals, State Standards, and

Learning objectives 20

Sources for Locating Learning objectives 27

Taxonomies of Learning objectives 27

Cognitive Domain Taxonomies 27

Evaluating the Learning objectives of a

Course or Unit 32

How to Write Specific Learning objectives 33

Aligning Assessment Tasks with Learning

objectives 35

Conclusion 36

Exercises 36


3 Validity of Assessment Results 37

General Nature of Validity 38

Four Principles for Validation 38

Validity of Teacher-Made Classroom

Assessment Results 40

Validity of Large-Scale Assessments 45

Validity Issues When Accommodating Students

with Disabilities 62

Conclusion 64

Exercises 64


4 Reliability of Assessment Results 66

General Nature of Reliability 67

Causes of Measurement Error or

Inconsistency 68

Reliability of Classroom Assessments 68

Reliability of Large-Scale Assessments 71

Obtained Scores, True Scores, and

Error Scores 78

Standard Error of Measurement 78

Reliability of Mastery and Pass-Fail

Decisions 82

Factors Affecting Reliability and SEM and

How to Improve Reliability 83

Conclusion 85

Exercises 85


5 Professional Responsibilities, Ethical

Behavior, and Legal Requirements in

Educational Assessments 87

A Teacher’s Professional Responsibilities in

Assessment 88

Six Categories of Responsibility for Teachers 89

Students’ Rights and Responsbilities as Test

Takers 97

Secrecy, Access, Privacy, Confidentiality, and the

Teacher 99

Testing Challenged in Court 101

Bias in Educational Assessment 103

Conclusion 106

Exercises 106


Part II Crafting and Using Classroom



6 Planning for Integrating Assessment

and Instruction 108

Key Concepts 108

Assessment Planning for a Marking Period 109

Assessment Planning for One Unit of

Instruction 110

Preassessment to Plan Your Teaching 113

Differentiating Instruction 114

Planning for One Summative Assessment 115

Improving the Validity of Assessment Plans 117

What Range of Assessment Options is

Available? 120

Assessment Planning for Response to

Intervention 128

Using Technology as an AID in Assessment 129

Conclusion 131

Exercises 132


7 Diagnostic and Formative Assessments 133

Diagnostic Assessment 134

Formative Assessment 141

Learning Progressions 150

A Coherent Assessment System 151

Systematic Record Keeping 151

Conclusion 151

Exercises 151


8 Providing Formative Feedback 153

Types and Characteristics of Feedback 154

Helping Students Use Feedback 158

Differentiating Feedback 159

Peer Feedback 163

Feedback from Technology 163

Conclusion 165

Exercises 165


9 Fill-in-the-Blank and True-False Items 166

Three Fundamental Principles for Crafting

Assessments 167

Fill-in-the-Blank Items 167

True-False Items 172

Conclusion 180

Exercises 180



10 Multiple-Choice and Matching

Exercises 181

Multiple-Choice Items 182

Creating Alternative Varieties of Multiple-Choice

Items 200

Matching Exercises 207

Creating Basic Matching Exercises 208

Creating Alternative Varieties of Matching

Exercises 211

Conclusion 217

Exercises 217


11 Essay Assessment Tasks 218

Formats for Essay Items 219

Usefulness of Essay Assessments 221

Constructing Essays Assessing Subject-Matter

Learning 223

Optional Questions 227

Constructing Prompts for Assessing Writing

Achievement 227

Scoring Essay Assessments 231

Writing Assessment and Technology 234

Conclusion 236

Exercises 236


12 Higher-Order Thinking, Problem Solving, and

Critical Thinking 238

Assessing Higher-Order Thinking 239

Concept Learning 242

Assessing Whether Students’ Thinking

Uses Rules 244

Problem Solving 246

Critical Thinking 250

Reading Skills 256

Conclusion 258

Exercises 259


13 Performance and Portfolio

Assessments 260

Performance Assessment 261

Creating Performance Assessments 270

Portfolios 289

Conclusion 295

Exercises 295


14 Preparing Your Students to Be Assessed and

Using Students’ Results to Improve Your

Assessments 297

Preparing Students for Assessment 298

Testwiseness 300

Test Anxiety 301

Assessment Format and Appearance 303

Correction for Guessing 304

Item Analysis for Classroom

Assessments 306

Item Difficulty Index 311

Item Discrimination Index 312

Improving Multiple-Choice Item

Quality 313

Selecting Test Items 316

Conclusion 318

Exercises 318


Part III Interpreting and Using

Standardized Tests


15 Evaluating and Grading Student

Achievement 320

The Meanings and Purposes of Grades 321

Reporting Methods 324

Choosing a Grading Model 332

Grading Practices 335

Techniques for Combining Grades to

Summarize Achievement 341

Conclusion 350

Exercises 350


16 Standardized Achievement Tests 352

Overview of Standardized Tests 353

Traditional Standardized Achievement

Tests 354

State- or District-Mandated Tests and

Customized Tests 363

Nonstandardized Achievement Tests 367

Appropriate Uses of Standardized Test

Results 368

Inappropriate Uses of Standardized Test

Results 369

How to Administer Standardized

Tests 371

Ethical and Unethical Student Practice for

Standardized Tests 371

Conclusion 373

Exercises 373


17 Interpreting Norm-Referenced Scores 376

Three Referencing Frameworks 377

Using Norms 380

Types of Norm Groups 381

Norm-Referenced Scores 384

Percentile Ranks 384

Linear Standard Scores 386

Normal Distributions 388

Normalized Standard Scores 390

Developmental and Educational Growth

Scales 395

Extended Normalized Standard Score

Scales 395

Grade-Equivalent Scores 396

General Guidelines for Score Interpretation 405

Conclusion 408

Exercises 408


18 Finding and Evaluating Published

Assessments 410

Locating a Published Test 411

Locating Evaluations of Published Tests 414

Locating Computerized Testing Materials 417

Locating Unpublished Test Materials 417

Restrictions on Purchasing and Using

Tests 417

Evaluating and Selecting a Test 418

How a Standardized Test Is Developed 422

Conclusion 424

Exercises 424


19 Scholastic Aptitude, Career Interests,

Attitudes, and Personality Tests 425

Aptitudes for Learning 426

Group Tests of Scholastic Aptitudes 428

Group Tests of Specific Aptitudes 433

Individually Administered Tests of General

Scholastic Aptitudes 436

Assessing Adaptive Behavior 440

Assessing Vocational and Career Interests 441

Assessing Attitudes 444

Assessing Personality Dimensions 444

Conclusion 445

Exercises 445



A Educational Assessment Knowledge and

Skills for Teachers 447

B Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education

(Revised) 448

C Code of Professional Responsibilities in

Educational Measurement 452

D Summaries of Taxonomies of Educational

Objectives: Cognitive, Affective, and

Psychomotor Domains 457

Glossary 491

References 511

Name Index 00

Subject Index 00

E Implementing the Principles of Universal

Design via Technology-Based Testing 464

F Basic Statistical Concepts 466

G Computational Procedures for Various

Reliability Coefficients 479

H A Limited List of Published Tests 484

I List of Test Publishers and Their

Websites 486

J Answers to Even-Numbered Exercises 487