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What is a competent 'competence standard'? Tensions between the construct and assessment as a tool for learning

Maclellan, Effie (2007) What is a competent 'competence standard'? Tensions between the construct and assessment as a tool for learning. Quality Assurance in Education, 15 (4). pp. 437-448. ISSN 0968-4883

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Abstract

Using the UK's recent disability legislation as a trigger, the paper explores issues in evidencing competence in the current context of using assessment as a tool for learning. In the current context of requiring assessment to be edumetrically sound, the legislation of competence standards is problematic in four respects. Task Validity is now a much more diffuse concept. Scoring Validity has to contend with many possible accommodations. Assessment Generalisability has to consider both the relevance and representativeness of the assessment task. Consequential Validity is essentially concerned with formative assessment; which is considered pedagogically important but, politically, is of less significance than summative assessment. This study offers academics and administrators a framework within which to review the edumetric soundness of their assessment practices and policies. In so doing possible difficulties in equitable assessment can be made explicit. This, in turn, has implications for staff development.