Assessing Higher-Order Cognitive Constructs by Using an Information-Processing Framework

NGN Resources
Publish Date
NCLEX Examinations
Education, Exam Development, NCLEX Exam, NCSBN Products/Services

Designing a theory-based assessment with sound psychometric qualities to measure a higher-order cognitive construct is a highly desired yet challenging task for many practitioners. This paper proposes a framework for designing a theorybased assessment to measure a higher-order cognitive construct. This framework results in a modularized yet unified assessment development system which includes elements spanning from construct conceptualization to model validation. The paper illustrates how to implement this framework by using the construct of nursing clinical judgment. Using this framework, many difficult design decisions can be made with strong theoretical rationales. The framework is also flexible to accommodate modifications and extensions that will be required to be made to the assessment as new knowledge related to the construct is generated over time. The goal of this framework is to provide practitioners with a practical and accessible methodology to assess sophisticated constructs on the ground of cognitive theories of the construct, especially by using technology enhanced items.  

Authors: Philip Dickison, PhD; Xiao Luo, PhD; Doyoung Kim, PhD; Ada Woo, PhD; William Muntean, PhD and Betty Bergstrom, PhD