The Ready Reading List for Test Adaptation

The Ready Reading List for Test Adaptation

by Translation Guy on July 21, 2016
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What do you do when you want a test to serve a whole new audience in a different language?

Adapting tests and instruments for different linguistic and/or cultural groups for the purposes of educational and psychological testing is a complex undertaking. Fortunately, recent research and best practice means lots of good reference documentation for planning. Here is a short list of our favorites.

Best Practices and Technical Issues in Cross-Lingual, Cross-Cultural Assessments: An Evaluation of a Test Adaptation

Taking a closer look at the Spanish-language adaptation of GMAT’s verbal section, this dissertation provides a set of guidelines on how to produce adapted instruments. It draws on recommendations from the International Test Commission and others, and discusses different issues like differential item functioning, timing and the use of an international steering committee.

Increasing the Validity of Adapted Tests: Myths to Be Avoided and Guidelines for Improving Test Adaptation Practices

This paper examines what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to most effectively adapting tests. Beginning with four myths that don’t serve test adaptation well and should be avoided, the paper goes on to detail 13 steps for adapting tests, including a number of suggestions, that build on the International Test Commission guidelines.

Testing International Vol. 13, No. 1, June 2003

This newsletter from the International Test Commission includes three articles (on personality testing, differential item functioning and e-learning quality standards) and three reports (on the ORTA project, computer-based testing and psychological tests). The ITC also publishes the peer-reviewed “International Journal of Testing.”

ITC Guidelines for Translating and Adapting Tests

The International Test Commission’s 22 brief guidelines outline accepted best practices for translating and adapting educational tests and psychological instruments. They are organized into four categories: Context, Test Development and Adaptation, Administration, and Documentation and Score Interpretation.

To Translate, or Not Translate: That Is the Question. Guidelines for Test Adaptation

This article rounds up a variety of brief guidelines that are useful to credentialing programs about to embark on test adaptation. Drawing heavily from Hambleton’s work, it includes some points to remember, adaptation considerations, ITC guidelines, professional standards and evaluation suggestions.

Translating Tests: Some Practical Guidelines

Translating psychological instruments can help with cross-cultural research. This article talks about the importance of avoiding three particular types of bias (construct bias, method bias and item bias), and strategies on how to do so, when developing an instrument for a different cultural group.

Translation and Adaptation of Tests: Lessons Learned and Recommendations for Countries Participating in TIMSS, PISA and Other International Comparisons

This article calls for better test translation and adaptation in international educational comparisons. It lays out a model for reviewing tests, how to code translation errors, an analysis of Spanish translations for high-profile international tests and recommendations for countries that participate in international educational comparisons.

There are plenty we’ve left off the list. Any titles you would like to see added to this list? I’d love to know what others have found useful and interesting. Thanks!

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