Methods of Procedure of Criterion Referenced Tests : (Part-2)

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Methods of Procedure of Criterion Referenced Tests


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Determination of the Opportune Time for Test Administration


    The tests designed covered the whole syllabus of home science so they had to be administered at intermediate level students only after the completion of entire syllabus of home  science. In this connection only two options were left to the investigator first, was to administer the test in July when students get admission to the first year of graduation it is assumed that the students had completed the course and had done no further learning. Students might have forgotten what they learnt at class XII, and some might have learnt something more during the vacation. Second option was to administer the test paper before the terminal examination.


    The investigator therefore considered it safe to administer the tests before couple of week earlier to the date of terminal examinations, provided the teachers and the students were willing to participate in the test.


Selection of Schools and Cases in the Sample


    The population of present investigation includes all the XII class students of Gorakhpur district studying home science course prescribed by U.P. Board of high school and intermediate education. In order to make the sample a fair representative of the population following precautions were taken:


  1. Schools from rural and urban areas were included.
  2. Students of all socio economic groups were included in the sample.


     The ideal sample is considered the probability sample were the selection of every cases in the sample is based on the theory of randomness, but in educational research such a sampling is impossible for the simple reason that the cases involved are human beings and the inclusion in the sample is more dependent upon their willingness to be included than the dictates of a table of random numbers.


     A list of intermediate college of rural and urban area£ in Gorakhpur district was made where home science course was prescribed. The following institutions were selected on their willingness to cooperate with the investigator.


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The contact with the co-operating institutions revealed that the number of students in different schools were not the same. All the XII class students present in the institution on the day of visit were given the test. Thus method of selecting the students was in cluster.


Test Administration


Determination of the Dates for the Test


    The dates of tests in different institutions were fixed in consultation with the teachers and the students. The month of February was considered suitable for determining the dates for the tests, intermediate home science achievement test _ and socio­ economic status scale. It was decided to administer both the test in an institution on the same date.


Motivation to the Teachers and Students Involved in Testing


     Motivation to the teachers and students involved in testing would be useful to teachers to improve their teaching and class results and to the students to improve their performance in terminal examination. The testing programmed could hardly be fruitful unless the teachers and students involved in it were highly motivated. Its a well-known fact that for a proper estimate of reliability and validity of the test it is necessary that students be highly motivated to take the test and they do it independently, i.e. they do not use any unfair means. The investigator therefore went to each institution selected for the purpose, and explained to the teachers and the students how those tests could be useful to them. The tests could throw light on the weakness and strengths of students.


Preparation of Guidelines for the Students


     A guideline for the students of class XII studying home science was prepared by the investigator which indicated the type of question paper to be used, what type of preparation was needed to be used, what type of preparation was needed to be made, the way the items had to be answered, and what materials were to be brought to the test center. The guidance was reviewed by experts and improved. Test experts were agreed on the point that the students should be given as much possible (leaving of course anything that would leak the items to be .included in the test), so that chance variations in the preparation of the students do not lead to differences in scores.


Directions for Test Administration


    The directions for test administration were given in the beginning of intermediate home science achievement test paper that all the questions are compulsory, do not leave any question and try to complete the test paper in a given time, and to tick mark against the appropriate response for each item. Appointment of outsiders as test administrators was not desirable because the number of students to be tested in the investigation was considered manageable personally by the investigator.


Preparing Students for the Test


    The guideline mentioned was distributed to the students and the teachers, so that they could prepare for the test. The students and teachers were willing and were highly motivated for conducting the test. The format of test was explained to them.


Conducting the Test


    The investigator went to all institutions selected in rural and urban areas on the appointed date and time with the test papers. Sitting arrangement of students was made as is done for terminal examination. The test booklets on home science achievement test were distributed among students. They were asked not to open the test booklets unless asked to do so. Then, they were asked to go through the directions for the test and to remove their misgivings if any. All the confusions asked by the students were told that after the start of test no further questioning would be answered so they should ask any thing they liked, just in the beginning. After the investigator was convinced that the method of answering was clear to every student, and then they were asked to start the test, one or two students who wanted a few minutes more were given time. After all the ‘students had handed over their test booklets, the test was announced to be over, all the teachers and, students were thanked for their cooperation.


    After an interval of thirty minutes, socio economic status scale was distributed among students. Students were asked to read the instructions carefully given on the top of the first page of socio­ economic status scale then they were asked to put tick mark against each items regarding socio- economic status. One hour was allotted for completing the socio economic status scale, as it was enough time for completing the scale. After one hour socio-economic status scales were collected from students.


Scoring of the Tests and Socio-Economic Status Scale


    Scoring key was prepared for scoring first paper of intermediate home science achievement test and second paper of intermediate home science achievement test. A single red line was used to mark the correct response. One mark was allotted for one correct item. The lines were usually drawn out to edge of the paper to facilitate item analysis. Trexler ( 1951) says 11Among the kinds of objectives tests there is one common type for which the use of correction type formula has been seldom advised, this is the matching test.  About the correction of scores for guessing in multiple-choice tests, there is a difference of opinion among the experts, Ebel, (1972) observes, scores on objective tests are sometime corrected for guessing. The purpose of such a correction is to reduce to zero the gain in score expected to result from blind guessing. A guessing correction is intended to give the student who guesses blindly on certain question no reasonable expectation of advantage in the long run over the students who omits the same questions. Instead of penalizing the students who guesses, one could correct for guessing by rewarding the students who refrains from guessing. He goes further to give reasons in support of non correction for guessing and concludes. If special circumstances seem to require the use of a correction, the instructor can use it with a clear conscience, but his conscience can usually bejust as clear, and his life simpler, if he avoids it. No correction for guessing was therefore made in the present investigation.


     For finding out the socio economic status of students from rural and urban areas, socio economic status scale prepared by Dr. B.B.Pandey was followed. The scale on the basis of the total scores as follows:


Scores                                Socio Economic Status

Above 255                         Most higher class

207-254                             higher class

169-206                             Upper middle class

95-168                               Middle class

66-94                                 Lower middle class

27-65                                 Lower classes

Below 26                           Most lower class




     The determination of the reliability of a CRT is still largely in the theoretical stage. As Stanely, (1971) indicates, “criterion referenced measurements are meant to be used in situations in which there may be no variation among the true scores of the examinees, these measures are intended not to discriminate among persons, but to discriminate each person’s score from a fixed criterion score”. When the variance of test scores is restricted, co-relational estimates of reliability will be low. The classical estimates may support a test but they are more likely to present values that give a pessimistic picture of the precision of the measuring instrument. A CRT could be highly consistent without this consistency being reflected in classical reliability indices. Cotton ( 1971) considers that one means of dealing with above problem is to use the binomial errci- model the other is the Bayesian Model.


     Popham (1990) makes the following suggestions because criterion referenced tests are often employed in connection with impending decisions about students and instructional programs. It has been proposed that a decision-consistency, rather than a score consistency, approach to reliability Wight be sensibly employed with such tests. In general, test developers who employ a decision­ consistency approach would do well to provide decision-consistency percentages based on different cut -off levels. In the present investigation this can be done by split-half method.

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