The Effect of Training in Test Item Writing on Test Performance of Junior High Students
High stakes testing, a phenomena born out of intense accountability across the United States, produces instructional settings that marginalize both curriculum and instruction. Teachers and other school personnel have minimized instruction to drill and practice in an effort to raise standardized and criterion referenced test scores. This study presents an alternative to current practice that engages students in learning and increases their awareness of the internal aspects of standardized tests. The Test Item Construction Model (TICM) guides students through the process of studying test item stems and subsequently creating items using a 12 week process of incrementing from understanding to creating test items. Students grew in their understanding of the test item stems and the generation of these. An ANOVA did not yield significant differences between random groups of trained and untrained test writers. However, students in the experimental group demonstrated gains in understanding of test items.