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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An Integrated Design and Appraisal Framework for Ethical Writing Assessment

Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license

In my introduction to this special issue, I highlighted the insufficiency of key measurement concepts--fairness, validity, and reliability--in guiding the design and implementation of writing assessments. I proposed that the concept of ethics provides a more complete framework for guiding assessment design and use. This article advances the philosophical foundation for our theory of ethics articulated by Elliot (this issue). Starting with fairness as first principle, it examines how safety and risk can be addressed through the application of an integrated design and appraisal framework (IDAF) for writing assessment tools. The paper is structured around two case studies set in Alberta, Canada. Case Study 1 applies Kane's (2013) IUA model of validation to an appraisal--Alberta's English 30-1 (grade 12 academic English) diploma exam program--highlighting in the process the limitations in contemporary validity theory. Case Study 2 examines an assessment design project I am currently undertaking in partnership with 8 English language arts teachers in southern Alberta. This case study examines how the IDAF supports ethical assessment design and appraisal.

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