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Test Development and Validation by Gary Skaggs summarizes the latest test theories, frameworks for test development and validation, and guidance for developing tests in straightforward language in one core text. Students looking for clear, concise explanations of measurement, validity, and test development within a real-world context and with numerous examples will find this book to be an excellent learning resource. Author Gary Skaggs takes years of experience teaching test development to graduate students across social and behavioral sciences and consulting on a wide variety of government and institutional research projects to offer students a thorough, jargon-free, and highly applied book to help propel their own research and careers.

Part I of the book, The Big Picture, sets the stage for test development, placing it within the larger context and history of measurement, emphasizing measurement concepts and their evolution over time. Part II, Test Development, covers the technical details of instrument and test development in logical order. Validation, Part III, links the conceptual bases provided in Part I with the technical process provided in Part II to conclude the book. For those students wanting to go further, software suggestions are referenced in the technical chapters, while Further Reading sections offer the original sources for more details. Exercises and Activities at the end of each chapter provide students a variety of ways to apply their knowledge, from conceptual questions to brief project ideas to data analysis problems.

Part 1: The Big Picture
Chapter 1: Measurement in the Social Sciences
Chapter 2: The Evolution of Validity
Chapter 3: Test Scaling and Scoring
Chapter 4: Classical Test Theory
Part 2: Test Development
Chapter 5: Frameworks for Test Development
Chapter 6: Test Specifications
Chapter 7: Item Writing and Scoring
Chapter 8: Pilot Testing and Item Analysis
Chapter 9: Introduction to Rasch Measurement Theory
Part 3: Validation
Chapter 10: Fairness, DIF, and Item Bias
Chapter 11: Dimensionality
Chapter 12: Standard Setting
Chapter 13: Validity Evidence and Validation Plans
Appendix A: Guide to Sample Data Sets
Appendix B: R Code for Analyses

I love the progression of the discussion through various graphs. This helps walk readers/students through the rationale behind Rasch, whereas so many other texts just present the various curves and estimates/equations as independent concepts to learn.

Julia Englund Strait
University of Houston-Clear Lake

Students can really develop a critical insight of all the phases of the test development procedures. The book provides clear information for students to understand what they need to consider when developing an instrument as well as what to look for when choosing an instrument to integrate in practice.

Alessandro Quartiroli
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

Nicely written and includes many tacit aspects of assessment that will be helpful to students. It is clear from the writing that the author has extensive experience in the field.

Robert Dedrick
University of South Florida
Key features
  • Covers development and validation of tests for social and behavioral science research.
  • Translates theory and technical research to a conceptual and pragmatic text for students.
  • A wide variety of real-world examples demonstrate concrete applications of concepts.
  • Exercises and Activities provide students with ways to reinforce their learning experience.
  • Datasets and R code provide students with hands-on analysis experience.
  • Further Reading sections offer students the option to dive into the literature around tests and their development.

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ISBN: 9781544377148