Gathering Response Process Data for a Problem-Solving Measure through Whole-Class Think Alouds

Response process validity evidence provides a window into a respondent’s cognitive processing. The purpose of this study is to describe a new data collection tool called a whole-class think aloud (WCTA). This work is performed as part of test development for a series of problem-solving measures to be used in elementary and middle grades. Data from third-grade students were collected in a 1–1 think-aloud setting and compared to data from similar students as part of WCTAs. Findings indicated that students performed similarly on the items when the two think-aloud settings were compared. Respondents also needed less encouragement to share ideas aloud during the WCTA compared to the 1–1 think aloud. They also communicated feeling more comfortable in the WCTA setting compared to the 1–1 think aloud. Drawing the findings together, WCTAs functioned as well if not better, than 1–1 think alouds for the purpose of contextualizing third-grade students’ cognitive processes. Future studies using WCTAs are recommended to explore their limitations and other factors that might impact their success as data gathering tools.

Bostic, J., Sondergeld, T, Matney, G., Stone, G., & Hicks, T. (2021). Gathering response process data for a problem-solving measure through whole-class think alouds. Applied Measurement in Education, 34(1), 46-60. DOI: 10.1080.08957347.2020.1835913