Reconceptualization of Test Fairness Model: A Grounded Theory Approach


The indefinite nature of the test fairness (McNamara et al., 2019) and different interpretations and definitions of the concept have stirred a lot of controversy over the years, necessitating the reconceptualization of the concept. On this basis, this study aimed to explore the empirical validity of Kunnan's (2000, 2004, 2008) Test Fairness Framework and revisit the established test fairness conceptualization following the principles of grounded theory. To this end, 10 university lecturers of TEFL, 20 high school English language teachers, 15 PhD candidates of TEFL, and 15 MA students of TEFL participated in an open-ended and a semi-structured interview. Following the grounded theory rubrics, the obtained interview data were read, coded, and analyzed. To enhance the abstraction level of the ideas, memos were written, comparisons were drawn, possibilities were seen, and robust categories were developed through theoretical sampling. This process continued iteratively until the categories saturated. Next, the categories were juxtaposed, compared to see how they fit together, and finally, several major categories emerged accordingly. The opinions were diagrammed, and a visual image of categories and their relevant scope, power, and associations were represented to construct a theoretical logic. The new hierarchy of test fairness categories became discernible as the interviewees named distinct characteristics for a fair test. The identified levels of the new conceptualization of test fairness were entitled as the test-related characteristics, administration, scoring, reporting, decision-making, consequences, security, explicitness, accountability, equality, and rights.

Author Information
Mohammad Ahmadi Safa, Bu Ali Sina University, Iran
Shima Beheshti, Bu Ali Sina University, Iran

Paper Information
Conference: ECLL2022
Stream: Assessment

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon