an assessment that measures current levels of customer satisfaction, the assessment would be said to have concurrent validity if it measured the current levels of satisfaction experienced by the organization’s customers. Predictive validity refers to the extent to which the predictions yielded by an assessment turn out to be correct at some specified time in the future. For example, if an assessment yields the prediction that a certain avenue of research will yield a certain outcome, and that avenue is pursued, the accomplishment of the predicted outcome enhances the predictive validity of the assessment.

Construct Validity

An assessment has construct validity if the measures on the items assessed correlate well with measures of the same items performed by other assessment methods. For example, if quantitative measures of research productivity (e.g., papers published) correlate well with subjective measures (e.g., expert rating of the productivity of the research), this supports the construct validity of the assessment.

Face Validity

Face validity is the extent to which the participants in the assessment agree that it appears to be designed to measure what is intended to be measured. For example, if an assessment survey contains many questions perceived as irrelevant by the participants, its face validity will be low.


The validity of an assessment instrument is reliant on its reliability. Examples of reliability include inter-rater reliability, test-retest reliability, and parallel-forms reliability. Inter-rater reliability is the extent to which multiple raters of a given item agree. For example, if there is consensus among the members of a peer review committee, this indicates good inter-rater reliability. Test-retest reliability is the extent of agreement among repeated assessments of an item that has not changed between the assessments. Parallel-forms reliability is gauged by comparing two different assessments, created using different versions of the same assessment items and then randomly dividing the items into two separate tests. The two forms of the assessment would then be administered together, and the correlation of their results would indicate the parallel-forms reliability.


Efficiency and impact are also key aspects of an effective assessment. Factors related to the efficient conduct of an assessment include its cost in terms of money and time, burdens perceived by those being assessed, and timeliness of reported findings. Factors relating to the impact of an assessment include the extent to which the recipients of the assessment implement the advice provided in the assessment, the extent to which the assessment findings are distributed to those who should receive them, and the content of the feedback from those who receive the findings.

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