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Validity in Assessments: Content, Construct & Predictive Validity

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  • 0:05 Validity Defined
  • 1:06 Factors That Impact Validity
  • 2:22 Measurement of Validity
  • 2:47 Types of Validity
  • 5:33 The Relationship…
  • 6:22 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Melissa Hurst
Ensuring that an assessment measures what it is intended to measure is a critical component in education. Assessment results are used to predict future achievement and current knowledge. This lesson will define the term validity and differentiate between content, construct, and predictive validity.

Validity: Defined

The term validity has varied meanings depending on the context in which it is being used. Validity generally refers to how accurately a conclusion, measurement, or concept corresponds to what is being tested. For this lesson, we will focus on validity in assessments.

Validity is defined as the extent to which an assessment accurately measures what it is intended to measure. Let me explain this concept through a real-world example. If you weigh yourself on a scale, the scale should give you an accurate measurement of your weight. If the scale tells you you weigh 150 pounds and you actually weigh 135 pounds, then the scale is not valid.

The same can be said for assessments used in the classroom. If an assessment intends to measure achievement and ability in a particular subject area but then measures concepts that are completely unrelated, the assessment is not valid.

Factors That Impact Validity

Before discussing how validity is measured and differentiating between the different types of validity, it is important to understand how external and internal factors impact validity.

A student's reading ability can have an impact on the validity of an assessment. For example, if a student has a hard time comprehending what a question is asking, a test will not be an accurate assessment of what the student truly knows about a subject. Educators should ensure that an assessment is at the correct reading level of the student.

Student self-efficacy can also impact validity of an assessment. If students have low self-efficacy, or beliefs about their abilities in the particular area they are being tested in, they will typically perform lower. Their own doubts hinder their ability to accurately demonstrate knowledge and comprehension.

Student test anxiety level is also a factor to be aware of. Students with high test anxiety will underperform due to emotional and physiological factors, such as upset stomach, sweating, and increased heart rate, which leads to a misrepresentation of student knowledge.

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