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Developing and Evaluating Student Score Reports for Cognitive Diagnostic Assessment Open Access


Other title
Cogntiive Diagnostic Assessment
Score Reporting
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Roberts, Mary Patrice R.
Supervisor and department
Gierl, Mark J. (Educational Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Poth, Cheryl (Educational Psychology)
Buck, George (Educational Psychology)
Willse, John (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
Cui, Ying (Educational Psychology)
Simmt, Elaine (Secondary Education)
Department of Educational Psychology
Measurement, Evaluation, and Cognition
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Score reporting serves a critical function as the interface between the test developer and a diverse audience of test users. The basic requirements for score reporting are clearly identified within the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (1999). However, the methods to achieve these standards are not. There lies an implicit assumption that results are reported in a useful manner to educational stakeholders to enable their use for communicating student performance, but there has been a paucity of research in this area to confirm or disconfirm this assumption. Effective reporting of diagnostic results requires a multi-disciplinary effort and input from all target audiences. In this study, a framework was created to structure an approach for developing score reports for cognitive diagnostic assessments. Guidelines for reporting and presenting diagnostic scores were based on a review of current educational test score reporting practices and literature from the area of information design. Then, core members of Alberta Education’s Cognitive Diagnostic Mathematics Assessments team applied the reporting framework to create three score reporting templates in the context of a Grade 3 diagnostic mathematics assessment. The templates were then evaluated by teachers on the dimensions of: (1) content and format, (2) understanding and interpretation, and (3) uses of and preferences for information. Results of this study revealed that all three reporting templates provided the teachers with information consistent with what was expected from a diagnostic assessment. Teachers did not have difficulties understanding and interpreting information within the report. However, suggestions were made to improve visual organization and clarity of wording. Primary uses identified for reported information include communicating learning to parents and students, informing instructional planning, evaluating student learning, and incorporating results in summative reporting. To facilitate use of results, paper-based, classroom-level reports with an accompanying website should be considered. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are also discussed.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Roberts, M. R., & Gierl, M. J. (2010). Developing score reports for cognitive diagnostic assessments. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 29 (3), 25-38.

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