Does the test work? Evaluating a web-based language placement test

May 30, 2018, 1:23 a.m.
June 8, 2019, 8:37 p.m.
June 8, 2019, 8:37 p.m.
Volume 22 Number 1, February 2018
Long,Avizia Y. Shin, Sun-Young Geeslin, Kimberly Willis, Erik W.
In response to the need for examples of test validation from which everyday language programs can benefit, this paper reports on a study that used Bachman’s (2005) assessment use argument (AUA) framework to examine evidence to support claims made about the intended interpretations and uses of scores based on a new web-based Spanish language placement test. The test, which consisted of 100 items distributed across five item types (sound discrimination, grammar, listening comprehension, reading comprehension, and vocabulary), was tested with 2,201 incoming first-year and transfer students at a large, Midwestern public university. Analyses of internal consistency and validity revealed the test to be reliable and valid with regard to its functionality, the content covered on the exam, and the consistency with which placement decisions could be made. Findings are discussed in light of the AUA model developed for the placement test, and practical suggestions for university-level language program instructors and testing administrators are outlined.
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Long, A. Y., Shin, S.-Y., Geeslin, K., & Willis, E. W. (2018). Does the test work? Evaluating a web-based language placement test. Language Learning & Technology, 22(1), 137–156.
1094-3501 1094-3501
University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center Michigan State University Center for Language Education and Research
Assessment Testing
Does the test work? Evaluating a web-based language placement test