An important but usually neglected aspect of the
training of teachers is instruction in the art of writing
good classroom tests. Such training should emphasize
various forms of objective items (e.g., multiple-choice,
master list, matching, greater-less-same, best-worst
answer, and matrix format). The proper formulation
and accurate grading of essay items should be
included, as should the use of various types of free-answer
items (e.g., the brief answer, interlinear, and
"fill in the blanks in the following paragraph" forms).
For courses involving laboratory work, such as science,
machine shop, and home economics, performance
and identification tests based on the laboratory
work should be used.
A second point is that organizations developing aptitude
tests for nonacademic areas, such as police
work, fire fighting, and licensing tests, should emphasize
the use by the client of a valid, reliable, and unbiased
criterion. Organizations developing academic
aptitude tests should also (1) be alert to the accuracy
of criterion measures, grades, rank in class, and so
forth; (2) call teachers’ attention to defects in grading;
and (3) help guide teachers and schools in improving
these procedures. In recent decades, there have been
few instances in which a testing organization has apprised
teachers of the fact that their criteria-among
others, grades on tests and student papers-are often
quite unreliable based on characteristics such as work
habits and attitude in class, and could be improved by
using better tests to evaluate student performance.
Characteristics of the group used for determining validity
are also critical.