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Ohio Data Primer

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Module 4: Tutorial—Where Can We Improve?

Example Data

Given consistent instruction, good measurement will show up on these plots as patterns of lines that do not often cross each other. Here is an example, showing the fifth- and sixth-grade OAT and NWEA results. The OAT and the MAP are both carefully constructed and psychometrically sound instruments that have high reliability and precision. We would expect students on these tests to score pretty consistently over repeated opportunities and to rank order in pretty much the order with respect to each other each time. These correspondences will not be perfect because testing is not perfect, but we would be very much surprised by seeing a lot of disorder. And, the trend lines here are reasonably flat and with relatively few crossings over. Most students show flat, horizontal trajectories—they are learning what we expect them to be learning. There are a few exceptions. One student scored toward the middle of the test range on the first MAP and then plummeted to the lowest score on the second MAP. However, this student scored a 414, or just above average on the sixth grade OAT. Probably he had a "bad day" on the November MAP date: thinking too much about his Thanksgiving holiday, perhaps?

End-of-unit tests and classroom quizzes typically do not benefit from the same careful psychometric test construction resources available to large-scale assessment developers. We therefore should expect to see less stability in student ranks and scores. On the other hand, these tests and quizzes typically are more closely aligned to the teaching that actually occurred just before the test. They therefore have more potential to inform about the specifics of instruction or learning. Let's take a look at the first four end-of-unit results for this sixth-grade class.


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