Paper No. 83-8
Presentation Time: 9:55 AM
VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY IN DISCIPLINE-BASED EDUCATION RESEARCH
Measurement is necessary for empirical science, whether that measurement consists of evaluating radioisotopes or documenting animal behavior. Within human dimensions scholarship, researchers need to make accurate measurement of a wide array of constructs within the cognitive, affective, and behavioral domains. The efficacy of the models generated from empirical measurement as well as the conclusions drawn from these models depends upon the accuracy of our measurement. This study will discuss the current state of measurement validity and reliability within the discipline-based education research (DBER) community. An analysis of existing instruments was conducted to determine the extent to which validity and reliability steps were documented in instrument development. Findings were considered relative to the type of construct being measured as well as the ways in which study conclusions have been used to inform policy. In general, most assessment instruments utilize few lines of evidence to establish validity and reliability prior to their use, suggesting an ongoing need for accessible mechanisms for establishing “good” instrumentation. This works provides both an evaluation of measurement within the DBER community as well as a tool that can be used by researchers to evaluate instruments prior to their use.