Validity inquiry process: Practical guidance for examining performance assessments and building a validity argument

Cynthia A. Conn, Kathy J. Bohan, Suzanne L. Pieper, Matteo Musumeci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Given the increased use of performance assessments (PAs) in higher education to evaluate achievement of learning outcomes, it is important to address the barriers related to ensuring quality for this type of assessment. This article presents a design-based research (DBR) study that resulted in the development of a Validity Inquiry Process (VIP). The study's aim was to support faculty in examining the validity and reliability of the interpretation and use of results from locally developed PAs. DBR was determined to be an appropriate method because it is used to study interventions such as an instructional innovation, type of assessment, technology integration, or administrative activity (Anderson & Shattuck, 2012). The VIP provides a collection of instruments and utilizes a reflective practice approach integrating concepts of quality criteria and development of a validity argument as outlined in the literature (M.T. Kane, 2013; Linn, Baker, & Dunbar, 1991; Messick, 1994).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100843
JournalStudies in Educational Evaluation
StatePublished - Jun 2020



  • Design-based research
  • Examining validity
  • Performance assessment
  • Validity argument
  • Validity inquiry instruments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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