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Criterion-Referenced Assessments

Criterion-referenced assessments are designed to assess the performance of individuals compared to a set criterion or standard. The scores on these assessments are directly linked to specific performance criterion. This is different from norm-referenced assessments where students are compared against the performance of other students to calculate a score that is based on the relative position of the student among all the other students. Criterion-referenced assessments can be based on a criterion or standard ranging from classroom learning objectives to professional performance objectives. They can also be based on national school standards such as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Criterion-referenced assessments were introduced in 1963 by Robert Glaser and are now commonly used as standardized tests (e.g., ACT), classroom tests and quizzes, and ...

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