Assessment reliability

Assessment reliability woman attending webinar
Speakers: Dr Tom Benton
Date: 20 Jan 2022 Venue: Online
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Type: Workshop Fee: £90

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This workshop will help you to gain a better understanding of the concept of assessment reliability, including how it is conceptualised, calculated, and should be interpreted.

It will provide an overview of the ways in which the reliability of a test is conceived and calculated and includes an introduction to the relationship between reliability and classical test theory. It will focus on ways of calculating the impact of markers, and the exact selection of questions within exams, upon the scores achieved by candidates.

The workshop will be relevant to anyone who needs to understand how to use and interpret reliability coefficients in practice. This may include those who are responsible for the development and quality control of assessments.

If you are new to calculating and interpreting assessment reliability, or have limited experience, this workshop will give you everything you need to get going. Or if you are more experienced and want to refresh your skills, this workshop will develop your understanding and boost confidence in your practice.

Course outline

To begin with, you will explore the different ways in which reliability can be conceptualised. Then, using ideas from classical test theory, you will cover the how these concepts translate into practice for calculating marking reliability and some of the most commonly used test reliability coefficients. You will then have the opportunity to discuss the different ways in which reliability can be presented, looking at the advantages and disadvantages of each. The session will also explore the factors that may affect the various reliability coefficients.

The workshop includes practical exercises to support your understanding and there will be opportunities to discuss reliability in your own context. You will also take away resources to support you in applying the learning after the session.

Key learning outcomes

By the end of the session you will have:

  • Understood the definition of reliability and why it is important
  • Practiced how different reliability indices are calculated
  • Interpreted the various indices in practice and considered the factors that might affect them

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Course trainer

Tom Benton - Principal Research OfficerDr Tom Benton has worked in educational statistics for almost 20 years and is Principal Research Officer in Assessment Research and Development Division, Cambridge Assessment. Prior to joining Cambridge Assessment he worked for the National Foundation for Education Research (NFER) as an expert in the field of statistical analysis. His work at NFER included test development, survey research, programme evaluation, benchmarking and international comparisons.

Tom has been closely involved with a number of large-scale national and international surveys of young people as well as the development and standardisation of numerous educational tests. He has co-authored a report on the subject of assessing reliability which has been published by Ofqual, and has practical experience of developing reliable ways of measuring attitudes and abilities of interest across a wide range of different subject areas including academic ability, community cohesion, self-efficacy, enjoyment of school, self-confidence and political opinions.

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