Guidelines to Support Excellence in Application of CLB in Test Development
The Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks is responsible for establishing and maintaining a national assessment system for use in the adult ESL/FSL community, education and training, and labour market, including a system of recognition of CLB/NCLC assessors and assessment service providers.
The CCLB provides guidelines and resources to support the practical, fair and reliable use of the CLB/NCLC national standards in CLB test development. These key resources are available:
GUIDELINES FOR TEST DEVELOPMENT
1. Test development should adhere to the following CLB principles:
Items/tasks should be culturally appropriate to adults.
Items must be of interest to adults; free of political, religious, gender issues.
Items should be set in a context related directly to intended use/ course content – academic, work-related
Items should assess communicative competencies described in the CLB 2000.
Items should provide clients with best chance possible to demonstrate proficiencies – clear instructions; consistent format and instructions; font size; graphics; examples, formatting, quality audio/video, as appropriate.
Test development should include supporting documentation to facilitate the assessments (logs, scripts, CLB assessment bands, etc), record the results, convert raw scores to CLB, assessor instructions, maintain program records, client identification.
Test should be easy to use in a range of settings.
2. The test development team should be able to demonstrate that it has:
experience and expertise in developing CLB assessments;
certified CLB assessors to advise/ develop the proposed tests and/or CLB assessment experts to consult during development;
demonstrated capacity to conduct field-testing of items and pilot-testing of draft versions through partnerships, workplans, etc.;
a work plan to validate results in terms of CLB;
assembled a broad-based advisory team to consult during development; and
an initial plan/model for test administration and use – self-training, criteria for assessors.
3. Proposed test development initiatives should clearly state:
targeted population of test-takers in terms of CLB levels, occupational backgrounds, etc.; and
overall plan in relation to CLB competencies.
4. Final deliverables, along with the main deliverables, should include:
test specifications so tests can be replicated for parallel/new versions, as needed;
report of test development process, including field test and pilot tests, validation plan;
list of all team members and outside experts involved in development; and
plan for training test users.