Snow, E., Haertel, G., Fulkerson, D. Feng, M., & Nichols, P. (2010). Leveraging evidence-centered design in large-scale and formative assessment practices. Paper presented at the 2010 annual meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), Denver, CO.
The last two decades have seen innovations in the world of educational assessment that require a different language and novel representations to describe their affordances. Promising research programs are developing conceptual and technological tools to help assessment developers leverage these innovations in practice. Large-scale assessment development practices have not yet taken full advantage of these innovations and associated research programs. This is due in part to the demands of operational programs, the cost and logistical constraints of large-scale testing, and the challenges of integrating innovations with established practices. Evidence-centered assessment design (ECD) is an integrated approach to constructing educational assessments in terms of evidentiary arguments that can be leveraged by large-scale and formative assessment developers to improve validity and maximizing efficiencies in the design, development and delivery processes. This paper depicts ECD as a series of integrated layers describing an assessment design process that includes analyzing and modeling domains, specifying arguments in terms of student, task and evidence models, and implementing the assessment and executing operational processes. Current findings from An Application of Evidence-Centered Design (ECD) to a State’s Large Scale Science Assessment, a 5-year project funded by the National Science Foundation, are used to highlight principles and structures of ECD – standards alignment, narrative structures, design patterns and task templates – that were identified as ways to leverage the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment-II, Science Assessment (MCA-II) assessment design, development, and delivery processes. The presentation of the ECD principles and structures, particularly design patterns, will be periodically extended beyond its current use in leveraging large-scale assessment design to highlight how it might be leveraged in formative assessment design, as well.