Friday, June 19, 2009

Parallel-Forms Reliability

One problem with questions or assessments is knowing what questions are the best ones to ask. A way of discovering this is do two tests in parallel, using different questions. Parallel-forms reliability evaluates different questions and question sets that seek to assess the same construct. Parallel-Forms evaluation may be done in combination with other methods, such as Split-half, which divides items that measure the same construct into two tests and applies them to the same group of people.

Parellel-forms reliability is gauged by comparing to different tests that were created using the same content. This is accomplished by creating a large pool of test items that measure the same quality and then randomly dividing the items into two separate tests. The two tests should then be administered to the same subjects at the same time.

In parallel forms reliability you first have to create two parallel forms. One way to accomplish this is to create a large set of questions that address the same construct and then randomly divide the questions into two sets. You administer both instruments to the same sample of people. The correlation between the two parallel forms is the estimate of reliability.

For instance, we might be concerned about a testing threat to internal validity. If we use Form A for the pretest and Form B for the posttest, we minimize that problem. it would even be better if we randomly assign individuals to receive Form A or B on the pretest and then switch them on the posttest. With split-half reliability we have an instrument that we wish to use as a single measurement instrument and only develop randomly split halves for purposes of estimating reliability.


No comments: