The development of a clothing construction exemption test

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


This research was conducted over the period of three quarters at Virginia Tech. The goal was to develop an instrument that was both valid and reliable for the purpose of exempting qualified, experienced students from the basic apparel construction course and allow them to begin with the advanced course. Resulting classes would be more homogeneous and, therefore, could be more effectively taught.

Data on test questions was available from prior administrations of a clothing construction knowledge test. Test items that pertained to current course content and with acceptable difficulty and discrimination indexes were retained for use. The test was developed in three phases.

The resulting test would be adaptable for use by other institutions because of the methodology used to develop it. The course behavioral objectives were first examined and assigned a percentage corresponding to the amount of class time devoted to each objective. Individual learning concepts were then analyzed and listed under the objective they each pertained to. Once this categorization was accomplished, the learning concepts were each ranked according to importance and complexity within their respective objectives. This ranking was then used to decide how many test items should pertain to each concept.

The exemption test developed through this procedure encompassed all course objectives and assured a representative sample of the course content. The final test was determined to be both valid and reliable. Its adoption as an exemption test was recommended with minor revision.