Why Being a Psycho is so Important in Competency Education

Why Being a Psycho is so Important in Competency Education

Did I just say that right? Being a psycho? Actually the term is Psychometric Editors. Psycho is just a term to giggle about with your colleagues around the water cooler.  Psychometric Editors are in top demand right now with Higher Education. Historically these professionals have been employed for years to edit high stakes assessments for different high-stakes licensures in the United States, but as higher education moves into the competency education model, psychometric editors will be needed more than ever.  

So what is a psychometric editor? The psychometric editor is part of a competency and assessment team, their job is to deliver quality test items to various clients within an organization. Their primary responsibility is to assure that all exam items adhere to psychometric standards, the standard rules of English and grammar, and client style expectations. Most institutions or corporations that use psychometric editors ask them to wear more than one hat, such as reviewing test items, manage projects, lead review calls, develop training material, write test items and clones, as well as train staff.

Psychometric Editors require a level of expertise and knowledge of the psychometric principles for reviewing test items to assure they are reliable, defendable, clear and valid. What are they principles? Let’s first look at some of the questions we would ask.

  • Is the assessment item valid?
  • Is the test item clear?
  • Could we defend the test item in court?
  • Is there enough data to support the claim that the test item is reliable?
  • What behaviors are we expecting from the students?

These behaviors and questions all relate back to the psychometric principles. Those principles assure, when used correctly, that the test item will be reliable, defendable, clear and valid for the institution and the student.

Another aspect you will see from your psychometric editor is the different forms of reliability. They will work with the team to develop inter-rater reliability, test-retest reliability, parallel test forms, etc. They will assure reliability of each item which means ‘error free’ and validity which means ‘are we measuring what we want to measure?’ Other questions that a psychometric editor will address is ‘are the items appropriate for the topic’, is there relevance and fairness? Psychometric Editors also assure that the assessments do not lead to divergent answers, which means there should never be a yes/no answer.

At the end of the day, the job of the psychometric editor is to assure that one student does not have an unfair advantage over another student while taking an assessment. This individual assures validity, reliability and clarity of an exam. This is why all competency based programs need a psycho on staff.

Dr. Cunningham



Carlos Tasso Aquino's picture Carlos Tasso Aquino | March 24, 2015 3:40 pm MST

Great posting! We need to find a way to attract more people to access this blog. There is a lot of very rich information.



About the Author

Jennifer Cunningham



Journal of Leadership Studies-Symposium Piece-Relational Leadership: Perspectives of Key Constructs on Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Equity in Higher Education

Psychology Today
Blog Posts Published


American Psychological Association Conference-Utilizing Clinical Hypnotherapeutic Intervention with CBT to Treat Pandemic-Aug. 13-2021 Symptomology

ILA Conference Geneva Switzerland 2021
Presenter -Topic-"The Stress Arc in Leadership and 3 Powerful Disciplines for Mitigating Major Stress Impacts in a New Era"-Upcoming
Presenter -Topic-“Improving Higher Education’s Role in Diversity and Social Equity through Relational Leadership in the New Era”-Upcoming
Presenter-Topic-"Healthcare Leadership-Using Virtuous Leadership in Chaos to Reimagine Beneficial Practices of Employee Cognitive Psychology"-Upcoming
2021-Knowledge Without Boundaries National Summit-College of Doctoral Studies Research Conference-University of Phoenix-Panel Discussion-"Exploring Emergent Trends in Leadership and Education"-Based on published symposia article from the Journal of Leadership Studies- https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jls.21734


Jennifer Cunningham
More posts by author:

Visit Our Blog

Visit the Research Process Blog for insights and guidance from University researchers Go >>


Recent News