The LAAS: A Computerized Scoring System for Small- and Large-Scale Developmental Assessments
Educational Assessment Volume 9, ISSN 1062-7197
The evaluation of developmental interventions has been hampered by a lack of practical, reliable, and objective developmental assessment systems. This article describes the construction of a domain-general computerized developmental assessment system for texts: the Lexical Abstraction Assessment System (LAAS). The LAAS provides assessments of the order of hierarchical complexity of oral and written texts, employing scoring rules developed with predictive discriminant analysis. The LAAS is made possible by a feature of conceptual structure we call hierarchical order of abstraction, which produces systematic quantifiable changes in lexical composition with development. The LAAS produces scores that agree with human ratings of hierarchical complexity more than 80% of the time within one-third of a complexity order across 6 complexity orders (18 levels), spanning the portion of the lifespan from about 4 years of age through adulthood. This corresponds to a Kendall's tau of .93.
Dawson, T.L. & Wilson, M. (2004). The LAAS: A Computerized Scoring System for Small- and Large-Scale Developmental Assessments. Educational Assessment, 9,.