A Cross-Sectional Evaluation of Student Achievement Using Standardized and Performance-Based Tests

Brad Pinter, Robert L. Matchock, Eric P. Charles, William R. Balch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Three groups of undergraduates (42 senior graduating psychology majors, 27 first-year premajors taking introductory psychology, and 24 first-year, high-performing nonmajors taking introductory psychology) completed the Psychology Major Field Test (MFT) and a short-answer (SA) essay test on reasoning about core knowledge in psychology. Graduating majors significantly outperformed both first-year groups using raw and covariate-corrected scores (adjusted for group differences in SAT-Verbal and high school grade point average). On the MFT, graduating majors scored above the 50th percentile, whereas high-performing nonmajors and premajors scored in the 25th and 20th percentiles, respectively. On the SA test, graduating majors averaged good-to-excellent quality responses, whereas premajors and high-performing nonmajors averaged only fair-to-good quality responses. Discussion focuses on the design and implementation of value-added, academic program assessments with limited data collection resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
JournalTeaching of Psychology
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Psychology(all)

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