Posts tagged ‘Validity’

Assessment Maturity Model

Over the last few years I have been working with customers and friends on an Assessment Maturity Model. It started with brainstorming, it was developed using a wiki and it has been tested by representing the idea to a number of groups around the world.  Now I feel that it is ready to take to the next step.

Over the last few weeks I have been formalizing the model to make it easy to understand and building a web site http://www.assessmentmaturitymodel.org/ 

The premise behind the Assessment Maturity Model is that if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it. But to measure it you need to know what "it" is. 

image

 

The Assessment Maturity Model proposes that there are six key performance indicators, known as Measures, within the three key Areas of Assessments, namely:

  • Assessment Development
    This area includes all aspects of authoring (creating and maintaining) the items and assessments.
  • Assessment Delivery
    This area includes all aspects of administering the assessment to candidates, respondents, participants, etc.
  • Presenting Results
    This areas deals with presenting results in a trustworthy way to the stakeholder in meaningful context.

Six key performance indicators, known as Measures, are tracked to provide an indication of maturity and these are:

  • Stakeholder Satisfaction
  • Security
  • Strategic Goals
  • Processes
  • Data Management
  • Communications with Stakeholders

image By tracking these Measures an organization can determine where they are and can plan for where they want to be. These can be tracked by a single Area, as shown in the graphic to the left, or with the three Areas combined for an overview. The graphic to the left shows how an organization can track by area based on "Quality" and "Efficiency".

If you manage any type of assessment program I’d encourage you to take time to learn more about the Areas, Measures and Phases of the Assessment Maturity Model.  or just

Please feel free to link to the Assessment Maturity Model web site at http://www.assessmentmaturitymodel.org/, cross link from other web sites and blogs, twitter about it, email me about it, comment here about it and/or even tell your friends about it! 

Watch out for more – this isn’t finished yet!

August 14, 2009 at 12:14 am Leave a comment

US Supreme Court ruled that results of a valid, job-related test cannot be thrown out

The US Supreme Court recently ruled that white and Latino firefighters in New Haven, Connecticut were discriminated against when the city failed to certify the results of an exam.  The full text of the ruling can be found at:
    http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/08pdf/07-1428.pdf 

The city followed well established guidelines and best practices for test design but became nervous when one racial group was disproportionally impacted. This resulted in a heated public debate and a lawsuit that’s travelled a rocky road all the way to the Supreme Court.

I am not a lawyer and do not wish to discuss the merits of this particular case. Dramatically smarter people have gotten involved and the Supreme Court opinion is well worth a read.

I do believe that here are some lessons that we can learn from this case:

  • Valid and reliable exams assist with promoting a meritocracy.  This is very important when life, limb and livelihoods are on the line. The union’s guidelines and city processes promoted a meritocracy.
  • Job analysis to ensure that the test is aligned with the job is important and was effectively conducted in this case. As the court stated “There is no genuine dispute that the examinations were job-related and consistent with business necessity.”
  • Establishing processes and following them is important. Processes had been established and followed by the city except that when there was a dispute the city broke the process by not certifying the test results.

The city’s failure to certify the results, despite effective job analysis and an effective exam, caused this protracted legal process. Unions often get a bad rep, but in this case–as firefighters have to trust each other when their lives are on the line–they were the ones fighting for a meritocracy and approved the examination processes. Hats off to them for that.

The “fairness” or “bias” of high-stakes tests are common themes when results are challenged/appealed. So validity, reliability and cut scores require meticulous attention. Although this ruling raises the bar for challenges based on racial bias, it does not eliminate the need for employers to be vigilant about test quality. Questionmark’s white paper on defensibility addresses  test reliability, validity and other essentials.  It’s available for download at: www.questionmark.com/whitepapers

I’m happy that the US Supreme Court has ruled in favor of exams and demonstrated their appreciation for best practices in the areas of job analysis, unbiased development, expert review, peer review, and agreeing, documenting and following processes.

June 30, 2009 at 8:15 pm Leave a comment


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