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Discrimination is related to but distinct from differentiation. Discrimination, when used in educational assessment, is not related to the everyday use of the term, that is, to act unfairly to someone because of his or her ethnicity, social class, disability or gender (see fairness). Ideally, assessments should not inadvertently rest upon cultural, social or linguistic assumptions that act to disadvantage any individuals or groups of learners. Instead, discrimination as understood by assessors is a positive way to measure how effectively test items and tasks behave in ensuring that so-called ‘high achievers’ can do well and ‘lower achievers’ do less well on assessment instruments.

Building Discrimination into an Assessment

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