Contact Information

CSD 293E-2 Multicultural Assessment: Psychometrics, Measurement & Bias

CSD 293E:  Multicultural Assessment: Psychometrics, Measurement & Bias

Th- 12:30 to 3:30, SZB 240

Spring 2011


            This course focuses on measurement theory and its application in CSD. Through simulated studies students will learn about aspects of psychometric theory including scaling, test construction, reliability and validity assessment, and item analysis in communication sciences and disorders. Cross-cultural, cross-linguistic, and bilingual issues in test performance, selection, and development will be considered. Nonstandardized procedures and their application/interpretation (such as dynamic assessment) will be examined.

 Instructor: Liz Pena


 W: 2:00-4:00   

Th: 3:30-5:00





Assigned readings and assignments must be completed by due dates. 


Grades will be based on lab papers (40%), short tests (40%); and weekly quizzes, class participation, preparation, & discussion of readings (20%).  The final course grade will be a weighted average of the assignments as indicated above, using the following scale:


A  100-95

B+ 89-87

C+ 79-77

D  69-60

F   59 and below

A-  90-94

B   82-86

C   72-76




B- 81-79

C- 71-69




Attendance is required






            Course Readings (available electronically)




1.      Select and administer appropriate evaluation procedures, such as behavioral observations non-standardized and standardized tests and instrumental procedures

2.      Adapt evaluation procedures to meet client/patient needs

3.      Interpret, integrate, and synthesize all information to develop diagnoses and make appropriate recommendations for intervention

4.      Develop setting-appropriate intervention plans with measurable and achievable goals that meet clients/patients’ needs

5.      Measure and evaluate client’s/patients’ performance and progress

6.      Understand the kinds of bias that may impact client performance on tests of speech, language, and hearing

7.      Develop and apply appropriate nonstandardized assessments such as dynamic assessment, observations, and clinical interviewing to distinguish language impairment and language difference.




Students Privacy and Web-based class sites

In Fall 2001, web-based, password-protected class sites became available for all accredited courses taught at The University. Syllabi, handouts, assignments and other resources are types of information that may be available within these sites.  Site activities could include exchanging e-mail, engaging in class discussions and chats, and exchanging files.  In addition, class e-mail rosters will be a component of the sites. Students who do not want their names included in these electronic class rosters must restrict their directory information in the Office of the Registrar, Main Building, Room 1.  For information on restricting directory information see:


I use blackboard in this class. If you want to receive e-mail related to the class, make sure the e-mail you check regularly is that which is listed in the UT directory.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-4641 TTY.

Policy on Academic Dishonesty

The University defines academic dishonesty as cheating, plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, falsifying academic records, and any act designed to avoid participating honestly in the learning process.  Scholastic dishonesty also includes but is not limited to providing false or misleading information to receive a postponement or an extension on a test, quiz, or other assignment, and submission of essentially the same written assignment for two courses without the prior permission of the instructor.  By accepting this syllabus, you have agreed to these guidelines and must adhere to them.  Scholastic dishonesty damages both the students learning experience and readiness for the future demands of a work-career.  Students who violate University rules on scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and/or dismissal from the University.  For the information on scholastic dishonesty, please visit the Student Judicial Services Web Site at:


Guidelines for preparation of written assignments

All written labs must be turned in typewritten format.  For short papers, use 12 point font (Times Roman 12 and Arial 11 are examples of acceptable fonts) and double-spacing with 1” margins on all sides of the paper.  Number the pages and place your last name in the upper right corner of each page of the assignment (use the header function for this).  Any work that does not meet these formatting requirements will be returned to you so that you may format it correctly. 


You should follow the American Psychological Association (6th Ed.) guidelines in the preparation of all of your lab papers.  The APA publication manual provides you with stylistic guidelines as well as format for citations in text and for the reference list for your papers.




Assignments will include 3 lab papers focusing on the different aspects of measurement. You will use a simulated database to learn about aspects of item analysis, classification, and item development. You’ll do test critiques and critiques of emerging measures based on psychometric theory. There will be in-class lab times scheduled to facilitate completion of the analysis portion of the assignments.


There will be 3 in-class short tests as indicated.


Weekly On-line quizzes. These activities are designed to help you prepare for class discussion, labs, and in-class quizzes. They need to be completed before coming to class. You will have the opportunity to retake the on-line quiz as necessary.












Introduction: Why Psychometrics?





Lab 1: What to look for in the test manual

(Hutchinson, 1996)


Evaluating the assessment diagnostic literature


(Dollaghan, 2004; Friberg, 2010)


Test Misuses

Lab 1 due: Test Critique

(McCauley & Swisher, 1984)


Item difficulty

Short Test 1

Begin lab 2


Allen & Yen, 1979, Chapter 6



Item analysis

Lab 2: Item difficulty & discrim (Due 3/8)

(Restrepo & Silverman, 2001)




(Peña, Spaulding, & Plante, 2006; Spaulding, Plante, & Farinella, 2006)


Interpreting Test Results

Lab 2 Due

(Ballantyne, Spilkin, & Trauner, 2007; Spaulding, 2011)


Spring Break




Test Bias

Short Test 2

Application of Item Analysis

(Valencia & Suzuki, 2001), Chapter 5


Dynamic Assessment


(Peña, Gillam, et al., 2006)


Test Translation

Assign Lab 3 Articles

(Patricacou, Psallida, Pring, & Dipper, 2007)


Emerging Measures

Lab 3

Read assigned article

Review past readings/notes


Criterion-Referenced Assessment, writing Test Items

Writing items

(McCauley, 1996)


Progress Monitoring

Lab 3 Due



Wrap up

Short Test 3



**Lab Days

Allen, M., & Yen, W. (1979). Introduction to measurement theory. Belmont, CA 94002: Wadsworth.

Ballantyne, A. O., Spilkin, A. M., & Trauner, D. A. (2007). The revision decision: Is change always good? A comparison of celf-r and celf-3 test scores in children with language impairment, focal brain damage, and typical development. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 38(3), 182-189. doi: 10.1044/0161-1461(2007/019)

Dollaghan, C. A. (2004). Evidence-based practice in communication disorders: What do we know, and when do we know it? Journal of Communication Disorders, 37(5), 391.

Friberg, J. C. (2010). Considerations for test selection: How do validity and reliability impact diagnostic decisions? Child Language Teaching and THerapy, 26(1), 77-92. doi: 10.1177/0265659009349972

Hutchinson, T. A. (1996). What to look for in the technical manual: Twenty questions for users. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 27(2), 109-121.

McCauley, R. J. (1996). Familiar strangers: Criterion-referenced measures in communication disorders. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 27(2), 122-131.

McCauley, R. J., & Swisher, L. (1984). Use and misuse of norm-referenced test in clinical assessment: A hypothetical case. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 49, 338-348.

Patricacou, A., Psallida, E., Pring, T., & Dipper, L. (2007). The boston naming test in greek: Normative data and the effects of age and education on naming. Aphasiology, 21(12), 1157-1170.

Peña, E. D., Gillam, R. B., Malek, M., Felter, R., Resendiz, M., Fiestas, C., & Sabel, T. (2006). Dynamic assessment of children from culturally diverse backgrounds: Applications to narrative assessment. Journal of Speech Language & Hearing Research, 49, 1037-1057.

Peña, E. D., Spaulding, T. J., & Plante, E. (2006). The composition of normative groups and diagnostic decision making: Shooting ourselves in the foot. American Journal of Speech Language Pathology, 15, 247-254.

Restrepo, M. A., & Silverman, S. W. (2001). Validity of the spanish preschool language scale - 3 for use with bilingual children. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 10, 382-393.

Spaulding, T. J. (2011). Comparison of severity ratings on norm-referenced tests for children with specific language impairment. Journal of Communication Disorders. doi: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2011.11.003

Spaulding, T. J., Plante, E., & Farinella, K. A. (2006). Eligibility criteria for language impairment: Is the low end of normal always appropriate? Speech, Language, Hearing Services in Schools, 37(1), 61-72.

Valencia, R., & Suzuki, L. (2001). Intelligence testing and minority students: Foundations, performance factors, and assessment issues. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.