Construct and incremental validity of dynamic assessment of decoding within and across domains
Dissertation under the direction of Professor Donald L. Compton In contrast to conventional static assessments measuring what students have learned, dynamic assessments (DA) measure how well students can learn; that is, their learning potential. Although DA has gained substantial attention for its utility in educational assessment, little is known about the nature of the learning potential construct measured by DA. The purpose of this study was (a) to test the construct validity of a DA of decoding and (b) to examine the incremental validity of the DA for explaining word reading and arithmetic performance beyond that which can be explained with conventional static measures. First grade students (N=112) were assessed on DA of decoding and various measures from reading- to math-related predictors as well as domain-general learning indicators. Confirmatory factor analysis supported that DA of decoding was distinct from general learning aptitude (intelligence) as well as from current level of decoding. Structural equation models showed that DA was necessary in explaining concurrent decoding skill beyond domain general learning measures and predictors of reading. DA was not a significant predictor of concurrent word recognition and arithmetic performance suggesting that learning potential measured by decoding DA was not generalizable across domains.