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California Community Colleges Common Assessment InitiativeThe California Community Colleges (CCC) Common Assessment Initiative (CAI) project team is stepping up communication efforts to ensure faculty and staff voices are heard throughout the common assessment development process.


On the calendar this fall are speaking engagements at conferences and workshops to answer questions and collect feedback relating to the work to date as well as the timeline and work to come.

“We have already seen the benefits of being responsive to inquiries and suggestions from the field, and are working to encourage even more opportunities for dialogue going forward,” said Jennifer Coleman, CAI Statewide Program Manager.

Feedback Gives Rise To New Work Group

Feedback from members of the CAI Steering Committee and CCC Chancellor’s Office Assessment Standards Work Group resulted in the creation of a new CAI Work Group for the Test Development Process. This group will provide guidance on alignment to current practice and future requirements as statewide assessment standards are revised. Members will provide valuable input into:

  • The content of the Request For Proposal (RFP) as it relates to development and maintenance of test bank and item pools
  • Vendor communication and expectations throughout the RFP and contracting process
  • The test development process and timeline, including:
    • Pilot and field testing
    • Validation in the areas of:
      • Face validity (Does the test look reasonable to the layperson?)
      • Construct validity (Does it measure what it’s supposed to measure?)
      • Content validity (Do the test questions align with the subject area of the test)
      • Consequential validity (Are there social benefits to using the test?)
      • Reliability
      • Fairness
      • Feasibility
  • Ongoing work that ensures technical quality and review of emerging assessments

Work Groups Drafting Competencies

Work groups representing the areas of Math, English and ESL have been meeting regularly since June to draft subject-matter competencies that will be included in the common assessment. The next step in this process is to get feedback from faculty and staff across the system to make sure the full breadth of subject-matter areas has been addressed.

“We will be utilizing existing listservs of the Academic Senate for CCC and other statewide organizations to spread the word about how to give this feedback, so watch for an email invitation, or sign up for our general CAI listserv on the website,” Coleman said.

Feedback will be collected via QuestionPro, an online survey instrument that allows for yes/no, multiple choice and drag-and-drop prioritization question types, to name a few. QuestionPro is expected to launch in October.

“The project team looks forward to incorporating this large-scale feedback into the RFP creation this fall, and vendor communication and expectations in the spring and beyond,” Coleman added.

Points Of Clarification

Finally, Coleman shared the following important points related to the overall project:

  • CCCAssess will be a common assessment tool, not a common placement tool. Student placement and related cut scores will be locally controlled at the individual college or district level.

  • There are opportunities to be involved in the development of the Common Assessment System through participation in Work Groups, and by providing feedback via QuestionPro or to your stakeholder group’s representative on the CAI Steering Committee and/or Work Groups.


Sandoval Chagoya is the TechEDge Executive Editor, Director of Outreach and Communications for the Online Education Initiative, and a Project Manager for the
California Community Colleges Technology Center and the California Virtual Campus.