Individual-student score reports sometimes include information about precision of scores (i.e., measurement error). In this study, we specifically investigated if parents understand this information when presented. We conducted an online experimental study where 196 parents of middle school children, from various parts of the country, were randomly assigned to three conditions with different amounts of measurement error information. Parents in all conditions answered a series of comprehension questions about a student’s performance on a hypothetical test. Results indicate that when information about error was presented, parents showed a significantly better understanding of score variability. Moreover, when asked about their preference for such information, parents across all three conditions indicated that they would like such information to be included in their child’s report. Results from this study highlight the importance of clear communication of technical information to stakeholders, particularly parents, who are a diverse stakeholder group.
Kannan, Priya; Zapata-Rivera, Diego; and Bryant, Andrew D.
"Evaluating parent comprehension of measurement error information presented in score reports,"
Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation: Vol. 26, Article 12.
Available at: https://scholarworks.umass.edu/pare/vol26/iss1/12