It is advised to use the table of specification to ensure that the assessment(s) will meet the requirements for validity (i.e. do you assess at the required difficulty level and are the questions well-balanced compared to the attention given to the learning goals).
A table of specification is a schematic view with which you can show that:
- all learning goals of a course are represented in the assessment(s) of the course
- the time spent on each learning goal (contact + self study hours) is equivalent to the amount of questions (or items) in the assessment
- the questions (or items) in the assessment have the adequate level of difficulty (matching the classifications of the learning goals)
- take and retake and assessments throughout the years have an equal level of difficulty
(Re)constructing a table of specifications forces you to think critically about the course design. It is a tool to ensure yourself that the assessment(s), learning goals and teaching method(s) fit together.The table of specification can be used as a justification of the content of an assessment to students, colleagues, Examinations Board and an assessment committee. It helps the students in their expectations to the assessment. Therefore it is advised to include the table of specification into the programme syllabus.
Further reading (in Dutch):
Constructing a table of specification in four steps:
More information about table of specification:
- Kader toetsbeleid UvA, 2010. Hoofdstuk 3.3 toetsconstructie.
- Universiteit Utrecht: Uitleg toetsmatrijs, Checklist bij maken toetsmatrijs, Voorbeelden van hoe het kan en hoe het niet moet