Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Place of Publication

Perth, Western Australia


Measurement, Assessment and Evaluation Laboratory


Sheridan, B., & Puhl, L. (1993). Developing a measure of student literacy competencies at a tertiary level using Rasch measurement. Perth, Australia: Edith Cowan university.


This paper reports an Australian investigation into concerns about student writing at University level and the construction of an objective measure of literacy. The English Skills Assessment (ESA) test, involving multiple choice items, and an essay, marked according to specified criteria, was administered to newly enrolled students (N = 495) in a University's Education programme. Analyses reveal inconsistencies between subtests of the ESA test, but the written test shows more promise. While some association is observed between the two measures, comparable subtests (such as spelling, punctuation, sentence structure) do not appear to be measuring the same thing.

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