Psychometric assessments are generally used to evaluate one’s knowledge and abilities in a certain field. Such testing systems are developed through standardized procedures involving analysis of their reliability, validity, and scale construction (Irwing et al., 2018). A suitable method of evaluation scores high in the mentioned criteria and provides results based on empirical evidence
Moreover, psychometric assessments must have clear and comprehensible instructions and purpose.
In that way, the hypothetical test questions must be analyzed to highlight their possible ineffectiveness. The hypothetical assessment instructs students to write an essay in two days. Focusing on the reliability factor, the task’s scale and procedure must be discussed. Researchers often increase their sample and repeat the procedure multiple times to purify the scale and improve the psychometric reliability (Quoquab et al., 2019). The hypothetical essay writing is not based on previously conducted studies with empirical support. Furthermore, in this case, the probability of random error is high; the exemplar questions differ significantly based on their content and format. Hence, improving reliability would require each question to be assessed according to similar criteria (Clayson & Miller). However, that would be difficult considering how different they are compared to each other.
The variability of the hypothetical assessment is another key element to consider. Since each essay asks a different question and in that way evaluates alternative student abilities, the results will vary across one measurement scale. Differing and widely spread marks will cause low variability for the tasks. Evaluating a psychometric test and creating a multiple-choice test are good examples of assessments that require both different approaches to preparing for them and the marking process. Hence, having students complete such a test will not be a fair method of knowledge evaluation, and additionally, it will be difficult for the professor to grade it.
Although the mentioned limitations regarding reliability and variability must be modified, they can also be used as a foundation for further psychometric test development. The selection of questions should be reviewed to maximize similarities between them. The format and structure can be modified to all fit one category of criteria. This will not only improve variability scores but minimize error probability as the students will feel more comfortable. To improve the reliability of the task, several trials can be conducted as “practice” tests. In this way, students will not be graded as in a final exam, but in every trial, the errors can be analyzed to produce a reliable testing method. Lastly, using already conducted research as a basic model for the essay topics can increase its reliability through the peer-reviewed resources it offers.
The practical limitations of the assignment include possible bias in the type of questions prepared and insufficient conditions for its completion. In this way, scheduling a meeting with a professor (as required for one of the assignments) may take longer than the allocated time, while the other topics are not as time-consuming. Without any clear empirically tested basis for the task, its purpose as an evaluative technique can also be questioned.
Therefore, the psychometric assignment should be modified to ensure that it adequately evaluates the students’ knowledge. The questions should demonstrate more similarities in their format and content to avoid errors and low variability. Furthermore, conducting several practice tests will aid the professor in organizing the optimal grading system while avoiding significant differences in marking the papers. In the end, the proposed hypothetical test can be changed into a credible evaluation method if the mentioned limitations are acknowledged.
Clayson, P., Miller, G.A. (2017). Psychometric considerations in the measurement of event-related brain potentials: Guidelines for measurement and reporting. International Journey of Psychophysiology, 111, pp. 57-67. Web.
Irwing, P., Booth, T., & Hughes, D.J. (2018). The Wiley handbook of psychometric testing: A multidisciplinary reference on survey, scale and test development. John Wiley & Sons.
Quoquab, F., Mohammad, J. and Sukari, N.N. (2019). A multiple-item scale for measuring “sustainable consumption behaviour” construct: Development and psychometric evaluation. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 31(4), pp. 791-816. Web.