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The ITC Guidelines for the Large-Scale Assessment of Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Populations

The ITC Guidelines for the Large-Scale Assessment of Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Populations

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Download the ITC Guidelines for the Large-Scale Assessment of Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Populations. (PDF document, original English version)


About the ITC Guidelines for the Large-Scale Assessment of Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Populations

These guidelines describe considerations relevant to the assessment of test takers in or across countries or regions that are linguistically or culturally diverse. The guidelines were developed by a committee of experts to help inform test developers, psychometricians, test users, and test administrators about fairness issues in support of the fair and valid assessment of linguistically or culturally diverse populations. They are meant to apply to most, if not all, aspects of the development, administration, scoring, and use of assessments; and are intended to supplement other existing professional standards or guidelines for testing and assessment. That is, these guidelines focus on the types of adaptations and considerations to use when developing, reviewing, and interpreting items and test scores from tests administered to culturally and linguistically or culturally diverse populations. Other guidelines such as the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (AERA, APA, & NCME, 2014) may also be relevant to testing linguistically and culturally diverse populations.

These guidelines are designed to inform test developers, psychometricians, and test users of the considerations that should be made to help ensure test fairness and score comparability to support meaningful inferences in culturally and linguistically diverse contexts. They augment existing ITC guidelines and other professional guidelines (or standards), referenced at the end of this document. Although they primarily apply to large-scale assessments administered in education, their general principles may also apply in other settings such as licensure, certification, and tests of skill mastery (such as those for a driver’s license). In small scale or one-to-one (clinical) assessments, there may be challenges to the implementation of these guidelines. Oakland (2016) provides specific recommendations for best practice as they apply to the administration of these kinds of assessments to individuals who are immigrants and/or second-language learners.

The ITC thanks René Lawless (USA) and María Elena Oliveri (Canada) who drafted the guidelines and served as committee chairs for this project.

The ITC also thanks members of the project committee for their contributions to the draft. These included Avi Allalouf (Israel), Sydell Carlton (United States), Thomas Eckes (Germany), Paula Elosua (Spain), Molly Faulkner-Bond (USA), Ronald Hambleton (USA), Dragoş Iliescu (Romania), Stephen Sireci (USA), Fons van de Vijver (Netherlands), Alina von Davier (USA), and April Zenisky (USA).

The ITC thanks its members of the ITC Council as well as Cathy Wendler and Robert Mislevy, who provided useful feedback on earlier versions of the guidelines.