Test Design: Laying Out The Roadmap

Research & Presentations - Research & Design


Davis-Becker, S., & Muckle, T. (2017). Test design: Laying out the roadmap. In S. Davis-Becker & C. Buckendahl (Eds.). Testing in the professions: Credentialing policies and practice. New York, NY: Routledge.


Organization leaders eager to develop a credentialing exam should prioritize careful planning before diving into the test development process. The design phase lays the foundation for test development, involving key stakeholders in decisions about development, administration, and maintenance. The first step, program structure, entails determining how testing fits within the credentialing process, the number and arrangement of tests, and other guiding parameters at the program level.


Organization leaders ready to embark on the development of a credentialing exam are often eager to dive right into the test development process. Before jumping right in, it is important to engage in careful planning as the design phase creates the foundation for the test development processes. Test design, as described in this chapter, is the process by which key stakeholders make decisions about the plan for the development, administration, and maintenance of the test. Within the Design phase, the first step (program structure) is the process by which program leaders determine how testing will fit within the larger credentialing process, the number of tests to be developed, how the tests will fit together within the program, and what other guiding parameters will be set at the program level.

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