Alternate Assessment Design – Mathematics. Technical Report 4: Design Patterns. The Background and Role of Design Patterns in the Evidence-centered Design Process


Haertel, G., Cameto, R., Morrison, K., DeBarger, A. H., Nagle, K., Seeratan, K., Fujii, R., & Knokey, A.-M. (2011). Alternate assessment design – Mathematics. Technical report 4: Design patterns. The background and role of design patterns in the evidence-centered design process. SRI International.


Evidence-Centered Design (ECD) is a view of assessment as evidentiary argument: it is an argument from what we observe students say, do, or make in a few circumstances to inferences about what they say, do or make more generally (Mislevy, Steinberg & Almond, 2003). ECD can serve as a cornerstone of test validation, providing items that are well-matched to the domain definition and inferences that can be drawn from students’ performances. As the ECD process is implemented and the test is developed, the domain from which the content is drawn is delineated at both general and specific levels and items are created to assess the key aspects of the domain. Thus, both content and construct evidence for validity is built in during the development of the items (Ebel & Frisbie, 1991; Fuhrman, 1996). This technical report lays out the basic ideas of ECD and then focuses intensively on the second stage of ECD, referred to as domain modeling and the theory and use of Design Patterns. Below the layers of ECD are introduced and some details about each layer are presented. Attention is paid, in particular, to the domain modeling layer during which Design Patterns are created.

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