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Recent work in the field of criterion-referenced measurement has emphasized the key communicative role played by a test's specifications, that is, the rules employed to generate the actual items used on the test. Sometimes referred to as "domain specifications, II since those specifications make operational the domain of behaviors being assessed by the test, the specifications provide teachers with the skill definitions needed to organize their instruction. The more lucid such specifications are, the more likely educators will understand the skill being sought, and the more likely that they will design appropriate instructional sequences.

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