Validity and Such

An AACU blogpost referred me to the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment website which referred me to an ETS website about the Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress (MAPP) where I would be able to read an article titled “Validity of the Measure of academic Proficiency and Progress .”

And here’s the upshot of that article: The MAPP is basically the same as the test it replaced and research on that test showed

…that the higher scores of juniors and seniors could be explained almost entirely by their completion of more of the core curriculum, and that completion of advanced courses beyond the core curriculum had relatively little impact on Academic Profile scores. An earlier study (ETS, 1990) showed that Academic Profile scores increased as grade point average, class level and amount of core curriculum completed increased.

In other words, the test is a good measure of whether students took more GenEd courses. And we suppose that in GenEd courses students are acquiring GenEd skills. And so these tests are measures of the GenEd skills we want students to learn.

A tad circular? What exactly is the information value added by this test?

Author: Dan Ryan

I'm currently an Academic Program Director at I've been a professor at University of Toronto, University of Southern California, and Mills College teaching things like human centered design, computational thinking, modeling for policy sciences, and social theory. I'm driven by the desire to figure out how to teach twice as many twice as well twice as easily.

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