Reasons for validating evaluation instruments

Recall that a sample should be an accurate representation of a population, because the total population may not be available.An instrument that is externally valid helps obtain population generalizability, or the degree to which a sample represents the population.

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Thus far, we have discussed Instrumentation as related to mostly quantitative measurement.

Establishing validity and reliability in qualitative research can be less precise, though participant/member checks, peer evaluation (another researcher checks the researcher’s inferences based on the instrument (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005), and multiple methods (keyword: ), are convincingly used.

The combination of these aspects, alongside the SAT, is a more valid measure of the applicant’s potential for graduation, later social involvement, and generosity (alumni giving) toward the alma mater.

Finally, the most useful instrument is both valid and reliable. It is a moderately reliable predictor of future success and a moderately valid measure of a student’s knowledge in Mathematics, Critical Reading, and Writing.

To determine what kind of tool you need and how they are able to assist you, see Selecting Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools.

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Consider the SAT, used as a predictor of success in college.

It is a reliable test (high scores relate to high GPA), though only a moderately valid indicator of success (due to the lack of structured environment – class attendance, parent-regulated study, and sleeping habits – each holistically related to success).

Researchers chose which type of instrument, or instruments, to use based on the research question.

Examples are listed below: is the extent to which an instrument measures what it is supposed to measure and performs as it is designed to perform.

(the process of developing, testing, and using the device).

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