Cover image for Tests that work : designing and delivering fair and practical measurement tools in the workplace
Tests that work : designing and delivering fair and practical measurement tools in the workplace
Westgaard, Odin.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, [1999]

Physical Description:
xi, 354 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


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HF5549.5.E5 W473 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The only practical business resource available that shows you how to use tests to assess skills and values in the workplace!

Loaded with figures, tips, checklists, and examples, Tests That Work gives you everything you need to use assessments responsibly and effectively at your organization.

You know the effects of mediocre workplace performance: reduced profitability, poor productivity, and diminished customer and employee satisfaction. But while you know the effects, finding the causes can seem nearly impossible. Do some of your employees need to improve their execution of basic tasks? Should some of your employees work on expanding their knowledge? How can you answer these questions?

Tests enable you to find answers such as these. But many organizations are afraid to use assessments: test development and execution is complicated. Bad tests can seem punishing or offensive, and yield inconclusive or incorrect results.

That's why noted consultant Odin Westgaard brings you Tests That Work, the only practical resource available that shows you how to use tests to assess skills and values in the workplace. Westgaard offers you invaluable advice whether you're developing and administering tests--or merely selecting them.

"Confusion has reigned in the realms of tests, testing, and calibrating human performance. Until now. This book will be on my desk -- the shelf is too far away!"
--Roger Kaufman, professor and director, office for needs assessment and planning, Florida State University; co-editor, The Guidebook for Performance Improvement

"This is one valuable book I won't loan to anyone. I'd never get it back! It's that good."
--Kery Mortenson, senior site training specialist, Abbott Laboratories

You'll learn how to:
* Test organizational attitudes
* Examine test validity and reliability
* Manage ethical issues related to test administration
* Evaluate and report test results . . . and more!
You'll use tests to:
* discover where training is needed
* determine whether training was successful
* analyze an organizational culture
* assess opinions and preferences
* and more!
Whether you're a manager who's considering using tests at your organization, a human resource development professional who's designing and implementing tests for your clients, or an educator or student engaged in the study or practice of assessment -- this is the resource for you!

Author Notes

Odin Westgaard, Ed.D., is an acknowledged expert in strategic planning, assessment, and evaluation, as well as in intervention design, development, and analysis. He is known for his ability to treat each new client and each new problem objectively and with insight. His recent clients have included Walgreens, McDonalds, ATandT, The American Cancer Society, and Ameritech. Westgaard is a frequent speaker at international conferences; his publications include five books and more than three dozen articles.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Part 1 Fundamentals of Testingp. 5
1 Testsp. 7
What is a Test?p. 12
Respondents Must Respondp. 13
About Questionsp. 15
Using the Right Question at the Right Timep. 17
2 Categories of Tests and Itemsp. 27
Diagnostic Testsp. 28
Tests of Values or Opinionsp. 30
Tests of Attitudes or Preferencesp. 30
Tests of Skill Levelsp. 31
Types of Itemsp. 32
Summaryp. 52
3 Measurementp. 53
Measured Resultsp. 54
Sampling the Skills of an Individualp. 55
Measurementp. 56
Kinds of Resultsp. 61
Summaryp. 74
4 Measuring Competence: Defining Performance and Masteryp. 75
Competencep. 76
Masteryp. 79
Performance Criteriap. 83
Competence Cannot Be Assumedp. 85
Needs and Respondentsp. 85
Tests Define Competencep. 86
Summaryp. 94
5 The Three Principal Uses for Testsp. 95
Achievement Testsp. 96
Accomplishment Testsp. 99
Opinion Testsp. 102
Summaryp. 116
Part 2 A Systematic Process for Test Developmentp. 117
6 Justifying the Testp. 119
Step 1 Identify and Quality Potential Respondentsp. 119
Step 2 Justify the Testp. 124
Step 3 Identify Performances to Be Testedp. 130
Step 4 Set Criteria for Each Performancep. 133
Summaryp. 138
7 Planning the Testp. 139
Step 5 Select the Type of Testp. 140
Step 6 Design Test Presentation and Administrationp. 146
Formal Test Design: An Added Concern for Major Effortsp. 153
Step 7 Design and Select the Evaluation Processp. 163
Summaryp. 167
8 Developing the Testp. 168
Step 8 Write the Itemsp. 168
Rules to Rememberp. 198
Step 9 Review and Qualify the Itemsp. 209
Step 10 Pilot the Testp. 212
Step 11 Set Cut-Scores or Other Parametersp. 215
Summaryp. 217
9 Producing and Administering the Testp. 218
Formatting Conventionsp. 219
Step 12 Produce the Testp. 233
Step 13 Administer the Testp. 234
Summaryp. 239
10 Evaluating and Reporting the Resultsp. 240
Step 14 Evaluate the Resultsp. 240
Report Resultsp. 241
Summaryp. 249
11 Using Test Resultsp. 254
Step 15 Use the Resultsp. 254
Summaryp. 283
The Fifteen Stepsp. 285
12 Evaluating the Testp. 287
Validityp. 288
Reliabilityp. 293
Formative Evaluationp. 298
Summative Evaluationp. 301
Auditsp. 302
Summaryp. 303
13 Test Management: An Ethical Processp. 306
Test Administrationp. 306
Proceduresp. 308
Ethical Issues in Test Managementp. 319
Summaryp. 322
A Final Commentp. 323
Appendix: Glossary of Testing Termsp. 325
Bibliographyp. 335
Indexp. 339
About the Authorp. 353