|From the ERIC database
The ERIC/AE Test Locator Service. ERIC/AE Digest.
The Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation (ERIC/AE), the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the Buros Institute, and Pro-Ed (publishing) have collaborated to produce the most comprehensive test locator services available on the Internet. The Test Locator service is located in a subdirectory of the ERIC/AE gopher site, and contains several searchable testing databases, tips on how to best select and evaluate a test, information on fair testing practices, and connections to library catalogs that may be of assistance to anyone searching for specific test information. The Test Locator Service should prove to be a valuable resource for any researcher looking for proven or experimental criterion measures.
CODE OF FAIR TESTING PRACTICES
For each area a series of guidelines for both test developers and test users is given. For example, test developers should "accurately represent the characteristics, usefulness, and limitations of tests for their intended purposes," while test users should "read independent evaluations of a test and of possible alternative measures...look for evidence required to support the claims of test developers." The Code is not copyrighted and may be obtained by either downloading it from the gopher site or by contacting the National Council on Measurement in Education, 1230 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20036.
TEST SELECTION TIPS
ERIC/ETS TEST COLLECTION TEST FILE
For each test or instrument, information is provided on the title, author, publication date, relevant population, subject terms, ERIC Thesaurus terms, and availability. In addition, a short abstract is provided that describes the test or instrument, and relates information on its content and form.
Searching the Test File database is easy. Simply select the ERIC/ETS Test File > option, and respond to the "Words to search for" prompt with a search string. The search string may use standard search operators including AND, OR, ( ), and the wildcard *. The search itself follows several basic rules, capitalization is ignored, only single words are indexed (a two word phrase such as "portfolio assessment" is interpreted as the union of two single words "portfolio AND assessment"), words less that 4 characters in length are ignored, common words are ignored (such as it, the, and in), and punctuation is not in the database and should be avoided in the search string.
Once a search string has been entered the Test File will search the title field, author field, descriptor fields, identifier field, and availability field, and will respond with the titles of all hits. Selecting any of the titles in the hit list will then display the test or instrument record. These records may then be downloaded or e-mailed to the user. It should be noted that the tests and instruments themselves are not in the test file (see the availability field for locating the test), that not all the tests and instruments in the Test File are currently in print, and that some of the information in the availability field may have changed (publishers may have moved, or gone out of business).
BUROS TEST REVIEW LOCATOR
Buros' "Mental Measurements Yearbook" is comprised of an extensive set of test reviews. Each review contains descriptive information, professional reviews, and a list of relevant references. Inclusion in the MMY is dependent upon several criteria, including that a test be commercially available, be written in English, and be new or significantly revised. Buros' "Tests in Print" is a comprehensive bibliography of all known commercial tests (English only). All tests in MMY also appear in, and are referenced in, TIP.
PRO-ED TEST REVIEW LOCATOR
Each entry in PRO-ED's "Test Critiques" offers the reader crucial information on each individual test, such as practical applications and uses, settings in which the test is used, appropriate as well as inappropriate subjects, and guidelines for administration, scoring and interpretation. The critiques cite normative data, validity and reliability information, as well as what other experts have said about the test. A final feature to each review is the actual critique, which summarizes and reviews the instrument.
A SEARCH EXAMPLE
The publication date of 1970 may raise one's doubts as to the usefulness of the STAI in the 1990's. Thus, in order to feel confident of one's decision to use the STAI, an examination of prior reviews or critiques would be helpful. If one selects the Buros Test Review Locator, and enters "anxiety" as the search string, a list of 18 tests is displayed. Test #15 is the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Selecting this test reveals that the STAI is reviewed in MMY, volume 9, review #1186. Not quite satisfied yet, one uses the Pro-Ed Test Review Locator, and again enters "anxiety" as the search string. A list of 13 tests related to anxiety is displayed, of which the STAI is #11. Selecting this title reveals that the STAI was critiqued in volume I of "Test Critiques."
HOW DO I ACCESS THE ERIC/AE GOPHER SITE?
This publication was prepared with funding from the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, under contract RR93002002. The opinions expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of OERI or the U.S. Department of Education. Permission is granted to copy and distribute this ERIC/AE Digest
Title: The ERIC/AE Test Locator Service. ERIC/AE Digest.
Descriptors: Culture Fair Tests; Databases; * Educational Assessment; Elementary Secondary Education; * Evaluation Methods; Higher Education; * Measurement Techniques; * Online Catalogs; Selection; Test Use; * Tests
Identifiers: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements; Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education; Educational Testing Service; *Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation; ERIC Digests; Gopher; *Internet
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