Definition of Attributes of an EDMS 738 Task Model Attribute Description Name Name of the task model—short description or main idea so people can refer to it concisely. Summary A textual description of the class of tasks that can be generated from or described by this task model. What kinds of things do we want to see students say, do, or make, under what circumstances and conditions? More detail will be added below, so think of this as an abstract. Rationale This is a place for comments about the warrant(s) that ground the tasks that would be produced under this task model. For example, we can state here that a task model was motivated by some certain way of conceiving of some knowledge or ability, which might be cast under a trait, behavioral, information-processing, or sociocultural/situative perspective, or some mix of these. Focal KSA(s) This is where we say what knowledge/skill/ability is being targeted. Note that for a given assessment, the Focus KSA addressed by a task model may incorporate KSAs that were described as ancillary KSAs in a design pattern that motivated the task model. This would be because it was decided, for example, that a particular area of content knowledge really was something we wanted to draw inference about in conjunction with solving problems in that domain. Focal KSAs are the ones that will be addressed by one or more student model variables (SMVs) in the assessment, but neither the SMVs nor the measurement models need to be specified precisely in the task model. One reason is that tasks generated under this task model could be used in different assessments with student models at different grainsizes, but all based on the same focal KSAs. How additional This is an area where one can list any number of KSAs that are not focal, and make KSA(s) are being comments about how they are being dealt with. There are two kinds of comments dealt with that will frequently appear: 1) KSAs that are not focal, but are nevertheless required in the tasks. These additional KSAs that are involved in the tasks suggest alternative explanations of poor performance. For example, Hydrive’s focal KSA is troubleshooting in the hydraulics system of the F15, where both knowledge about the system and troubleshooting within it are focal. But knowing how to use the and interpret the interface and tools of the simulator are required as well. This is an additional KSA, that we would need to make sure students became familiar with so it would not be a hurdle to them. 2) KSAs that might have been required, but the task model has been constructed so it will avoid them. That is, design choices about the context and materials of the tasks have made sure that some KSA is not required, and therefore won’t be an alternative explanation of poor performance. For example, permitting student choice about which novel will be the basis of a discussion of plot themes can eliminate knowledge of one particular novel as a source of unintended difficulty, when the focal KSA is being able to identify plot devices being used in novels. Work Product(s) For each work product that is being captured in one of these tasks, description of what it is conceptually and what form it takes. Observable A set of attributes for each OV: variables Definition of a particular observable variable, or feature of the work product(s) that is being used as evidence. (OVs) Range of potential values of the observable variable (e.g., right/wrong choice & Rubrics among offered possibilities, amount of time required, rating of efficiency of a problem solution on a 1-5 scale) Which work product(s) are being evaluated to provide this OV. Rubric, or description of how the value of this OV is to be determined from the aforementioned work product(s) Characteristic A description of the features that all of the tasks generated under this task model features of tasks have in common. Almost always it will include general descriptions of stimulus materials the students will have to work with, and a description of what the students are instructed to do. It may additionally include tools, conditions, environment, and knowledge represents that are used, if they are relevant to understanding tasks of this type. In the Hively, Patterson, and Page (HPP) example, an EDMS task model corresponding to an HPP item form would include the verbal description of the item form and the rules by which tasks within that form can be automatically generated. Task Model Task model variables define important dimensions along which tasks generated from Variables (TMVs) this task model differ from one another. A set of attributes for each TMV: Definition of a particular task model variable. Range of potential values of the observable variable (e.g., fault in system, numbers and types of constraints in a design problem, whether borrowing across 0 is required in a subtraction problem; could be open-ended, too.) How variation in this respect affects the evidentiary argument. Examples: May make the task easier or harder; may put more or less demand on some aspects of focal or additional KSAs (Irvine calls these radical TMVs). May make tasks appear different on the surface without affecting the evidentiary argument (e.g., names of characters in an analytic reasoning argument; Irvine calls these incidental TMVs) Exemplar tasks Example(s) of the tasks, should there be any References Books, articles, or web resources that provide additional information about the task models, such as psychological research they are based on, studies about them, examples of their use, study guides, etc.
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