By Susan V. Monjan
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Extra resources for Critical Issues in Competency Based Education
There is no way to directly measure how accurately the student reports his subjective state. Because subjective states cannot be directly measured, competency-based educators have avoided establishing goals or evaluation techniques that focus on students' learning how to monitor their subjective reactions. We think that the measurement rationale that has become the premise for eliminating appraisal skills from competency-based education is incorrect. As discussed above, evaluation is undertaken not merely to measure whether on one occasion the person successfully performs the defined task, but also as a strategy to assess whether there is evidence that the person has the ability to perform the task.
To determine the concurrent validity of the proposed test, you would first need to identify practicing lawyers. You would then give them the test you had devised to see if it differentiated between the lawyers who were or were not effective at defending clients. If your test could do this it would have high concurrent validity. CONCLUSIONS Competency-based educators have to realize that there are no direct ways to measure whether students have acquired an ability. The most we can accomplish with any evaluation technique is to ascertain the nature of the evidence that the procedures measure those achievements which we are intending to assess.
In order to arrive at an accurate assessment of the proficiency level which a new learner has achieved, it is particularly important to have a number of samples of the behavior. Measurement textbooks describe the procedure (the Spearman-Brown formula Cronbach, 1960, p. 131) which can be used to compute how much an increase in the length of a test will increase the reliability of the test. In traditional educational programs, classroom teachers frequently obtain many more samples of behavior than are obtained in competency-based programs.