Julia Scherba de Valenzuela, Ph.D.
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What is Criterion-Referenced Assessment?

When we look at the types of assessment instruments, we can generally classify them into two main groups: Criterion-referenced assessments and norm-referenced assessments. Linn and Gronlund (2000) define these two types of assessments in the following:

"Norm-Referenced Assessment: A test or other type of assessment designed to provide a measure of performance that is interpretable in terms of an individual's relative standing in some known group.
Criterion-Referenced Assessment: A test or other type of assessment designed to provide a measure of performance that is interpretable in terms of a clearly defined and delimited domain of learning tasks." (p. 42)

These authors provide the following additional information about criterion-referenced assessments:

There are multiple ways to score a criterion-referenced assessment. These include: From: Linn, R. L., & Gronlund, N. E. (2000). Measurement and assessment in teaching (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.


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Last updated: July 30, 2002