BOX 5–9 Revising Tasks

The Pattern Task was designed to assess reasoning skills for identifying the underlying regularities of a figural pattern, using these regularities to extend the pattern, and communicating these regularities effectively. The following is the original version of this task:

For homework, Allan’s teacher asked him to look at the pattern below and draw the figure that should come next.

Allan doesn’t know how to find the next figure.

Write a description for Allan telling him which figure comes next.

The pilot data showed that in response to this initial version, many students simply drew a fifth figure rather than providing a description of the pattern regularities, making it difficult to obtain a sense of their solution strategies. The task was therefore revised so it asked students to describe how they knew which figure comes next. This change increased

The development process for the QUASAR Cognitive Assessment Instrument required continual interplay among the validation procedures of logical analysis, internal review, pilot testing, and external review. Sometimes a task would undergo several iterations of a subset of these procedures before it was considered ready for the next stage of development. An example is given in Box 5–9.


Although reporting of results occurs at the end of an assessment cycle, assessments must be designed from the outset to ensure that reporting of the desired types of information will be possible. As emphasized at the beginning of this chapter, the purpose for the assessment and the kinds of inferences one wants to draw from the results should drive the design, including

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