Testing your Test: Assessing the Quality of Test Items

Des Moines , IA US
March 17, 2016

There is no cost to attend and registration is not required.

Target Audience

DMU faculty and staff.

Series Description

Curriculum Design and Evaluation

Curriculum development and evaluation in the modern health sciences environment poses many challenges from the perspective of course developers. Faculty members face an ever-increasing demand to develop integrated courses that incorporate active learning and that are also matched to assessment and program evaluation criteria.  To meet this demand and provide quality education programs, faculty members must have a thorough understanding of course design.  The IAMSE Spring Series will cover several key topics to help course directors design courses based on carefully planned objectives and expected student outcomes, assess student performance using several types of questions, and perform detailed program evaluation to help gauge course effectiveness and promote successful quality improvement. Session 1 will explore issues related to instructional design with emphasis on creating measurable learning objectives using Blooms Taxonomy, and utilizing a backwards design approach to course development. Session 2 will focus on how to use curriculum mapping to identify content gaps and undesired redundancy within programs. The next two sessions will demonstrate how to perform post-hoc multiple choice item analysis using psychometric data and how to design effective essay questions that assess student knowledge. The final session will concentrate on methods to connect program evaluation to continuous quality improvement. 

Webinar Description

For an assessment to be an acceptable measure of student learning, it must be a valid and reliable and contain high quality test items. But how can you determine if your assessment makes the grade? Psychometric and item analysis data are often provided and allow for a post-hoc analysis of an assessment and yet few of us have formal training on how to interpret these data. This web seminar will review the types of statistics that are generally provided, how these numbers are derived and the ways in which they can be interpreted. Participants will learn about some general guidelines used in determining the quality of test items as well as hear about some of the exceptions to those rules.



Veronica Michaelsen, PhD, MD

Dr. Michaelsen holds an MD from the University of Iowa College of Medicine as well as an MEd in Instructional Design and a PhD in Education Research, Statistics and Evaluation both from the University Of Virginia. She served as an Assistant Professor of Research in Medical Education at the University Of Virginia for seven years before transitioning to Director of Curriculum Design and Development. In 2012, she took on her current role as Assistant Dean of Evaluation at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences where she oversees program evaluation for the MD program. Her research interests include diffusion of innovations in an educational setting and student assessment as a program outcome. The former led her to conduct her dissertation work on the stages of concern of faculty during a curricular change while the latter has resulted in involvement in the clinical skills testing program at the University of Virginia and the implementation of computer based testing at GWUSMHS.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
03/17/2016 - 11:00am CDT
Event ends: 
03/17/2016 - 12:00pm CDT
Des Moines University
3200 Grand Avenue
Ryan Hall 181
Des Moines , IA 50312
United States

Available Credit

  • 1.00 CE Contact Hour(s)


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