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TOPIC: AFA Scoring - Subject/ Objective?

AFA Scoring - Subject/ Objective? 15 Mar 2009 09:04 #1

  • beslagsmed
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Gary, Post # 45, Guild Exam Thread: Then why does the AFA have all the diffrent areas to score on.

Why not just let the canidate shoe the horse then have the package as a whole be scored pass or fail?

Having been a scribe at two diffrent certifications. I thought it odd to have the tester/examiner change a score just so the section total would met the minimum requred to proceed further on the test. This practice takes the integrity out of the test.

In light of this posted information, I would like to hear from members of the AFA Certification Committee on this subject. If scores are changed even a point, then this takes the objectivity out of the test.

I have taken the CF test and failed due to me not being smart enough to know how to take and study for the test. But seeing how there is so much talk now about how the AFA certifications are objective, I think this raised a valid point for the question.
Mikel Dawson, RJF

(Denmark)
What part of "NO" don't you understand!!

Caution: Watch for hoof in mouth disease!!!
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RE:AFA Scoring - Subject/ Objective? 15 Mar 2009 10:50 #2

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The situation Gary describes happens when filling out individual scores and focusing on details. Passing the test requires a minimum "average score" of 7. Technically there are 10 scores that must sum to a total score of 70 or higher. One could assume that when focusing on a single detail, an examiner could have an opinion that this particular detail was below average or above average.

At the end of the testing phase, when the scores are summed and the total is 68 or 69, the examiner is now looking at the finished product and thinking, the overall job ain't that bad and this guy ought to pass. So then they go back and find a detail that they can reconsider and perhaps adjust the score for that one detail enough to bring the total to 70. Sometimes it might require finding two details to adjust.

While you may think that adjusting scores is a subjective process, what is really happening is thet the examiner is double checking everything to make sure that each detail got the right score. In the double check process there is also a possibility that a particular detail might be given a lower score after a second look. This would only happen if the examiner felt that the overall score was too high.

Its about the big picture. When the overall job is viewed objectively and found good, then the individual scores must be adjusted in order for the overall objectivity to be correct and pass. When the overall job is viewed objectively and found wanting, then the individual scores must be adjusted in order for the overall objectivity to be correct and fail.

If examiners were not allowed to change the individual scores, then the examination process would not be flexible enough to allow objectivity when looking at the finished job. This score adjusting process protects the integrity of the overall objective view of the finished job.

Test candidates are also allowed to change their answers on the written test before turinig it in for grading.
Tom Bloomer
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Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:AFA Scoring - Subject/ Objective? 15 Mar 2009 11:17 #3

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If i was marking a foot prep and i gave it 7.1 thats what it got
i would have coments on that prep tooked away with that person number

the only time i would change the score is when he gives me the fitted shoe
to judge and he has docktered the foot prep to fit that shoe

so now that 7.1 for prep is gone
Smitty88
John Mc Loughlin
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RE:AFA Scoring - Subject/ Objective? 15 Mar 2009 12:00 #4

  • Mike Ferrara
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It sounds very subjective.

I don't know that it matters and I don't know that I'ver heard the AFA claim that it was completely objective but some folks here claim that it is.

If it were completely objective you could have multiple examiners score the work of multiple testees and the results would be consistant. This is referred to as repeatability and reproducibility and it's required of all "objective" test/measurement systems.

If what we're reading in these couple of threads is true then the scoring is, by definition, subjective.
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RE:AFA Scoring - Subject/ Objective? 15 Mar 2009 13:03 #5

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As a past approved tester I can say that it is completeley subjective and there is no accountability among examiners. without accountability there is no credibility. They couldn't keep thirteen examiners on the same track and now they think it will be better with twice that number? The AFA of a few years ago was heading down the right track but now is just a "good ol' boys club" again.

It is definately time for a changing of the guards.
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. Louis Hector Berlioz

Troy Ehrmantraut, CJF
2002 Journeyman Practical High Score Award.
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RE:AFA Scoring - Subject/ Objective? 15 Mar 2009 13:46 #6

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tbloomer wrote:
At the end of the testing phase, when the scores are summed and the total is 68 or 69, the examiner is now looking at the finished product and thinking, the overall job ain't that bad and this guy ought to pass. So then they go back and find a detail that they can reconsider and perhaps adjust the score for that one detail enough to bring the total to 70. Sometimes it might require finding two details to adjust.
That's just plain bogus and not how the test is designed. And if you are countenancing that approach, then you have become an apologista for how the exam is conducted and have destroyed any credibility regarding objectivity that the exam is touted as having.
While you may think that adjusting scores is a subjective process, what is really happening is thet the examiner is double checking everything to make sure that each detail got the right score.
That's a load of mushroom fertilizer and unbecoming a person of your intelligence.
Its about the big picture. When the overall job is viewed objectively and found good, then the individual scores must be adjusted in order for the overall objectivity to be correct and pass.
More mushroom fertilizer. The candidate was evaluated and found wanting. There should be no mechanism for the evaluator to go back and change the score. It defeats the purpose of having a detailed numerical scoring system.
When the overall job is viewed objectively and found wanting, then the individual scores must be adjusted in order for the overall objectivity to be correct and fail.
Incorrect. There is no mandate to adjust scores so that someone recieves a passing score. To the contrary. The system is designed to not allow this. The failure is on the part of those administering the system to adhere to the rules. Score the element, move on to the next element, add up the scores for that phase of the exam. If the result is not a passing score, end the process then and there. Shouldn't be any 'if's, and's or but's."
If examiners were not allowed to change the individual scores, then the examination process would not be flexible enough to allow objectivity when looking at the finished job.
Makes no difference. Changing scores throws objectivity out the window. Along with that loss, comes a loss of credibility. Lose enough credibility and the process becomes meaningless rather than meaningful.
This score adjusting process protects the integrity of the overall objective view of the finished job.
No it doesn't. It destroys the very integrity and objectivity it seeks to maintain.
Test candidates are also allowed to change their answers on the written test before turinig it in for grading.
Apples and oranges. The candidates are not scoring the work. Would it be OK with you if, when a tester or examiner was scoring the written work, said individual changed an answer or two, or three so that the candidate recieved a passing score? Or would you consider that to be cheating, wrong, unethical or immoral? What do you suppose would happen to a tester or examiner who was caught changing an answer on a candidate's answer sheet?
Rick Burten PF

In the immortal words of Ron White: "But let me tell you something, folks: You can't fix S-tupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. S-tupid is forever."
."


Je pense donc je suis
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RE:AFA Scoring - Subject/ Objective? 15 Mar 2009 13:48 #7

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Well and honestly said, Clinker.
Rick Burten PF

In the immortal words of Ron White: "But let me tell you something, folks: You can't fix S-tupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. S-tupid is forever."
."


Je pense donc je suis
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RE:AFA Scoring - Subject/ Objective? 15 Mar 2009 15:58 #8

  • tbloomer
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Rick Burten wrote:
That's just plain bogus and not how the test is designed.
Unless the practice is expressly forbidden, I don't think you can say the test is designed to not allow score changes.
And if you are countenancing that approach, then you have become an apologista for how the exam is conducted and have destroyed any credibility regarding objectivity that the exam is touted as having.
So by merely claiming that the current practice of reportedly changing scores is objective, I have somehow brought to light the glaring subjectivity that was denied to exist? Does this mean that the process has any less credibility than it did before I tried to describe it as objective.

What's to prevent a math savvy tester from keeping a running total and failing or passing a candidate deliberately while filling out the score sheet in pen? What is the single repeatable consistant determining factor that a tester uses to determine a score of 7, higher or lower? Is giving the sum of 10 cumulative opinions more or less credible than one opinion?
Tom Bloomer
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Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:AFA Scoring - Subject/ Objective? 15 Mar 2009 16:54 #9

  • Jack Evers
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This thread and the following one are becoming redundant, boring and ridiculous. Certainly, I can design a perfectly objective test for rudimentery skills -- True or false, 2+2=4, 6/3= 3, etc. but in the real world of "it depends", it's not so simple. Whether we say "pass or fail", "7 more or less" it's still subjective. The AFA is trying to get as close as possible to consistancy as opposed to objectivity and individuals are a moving target. Personally, I failed the CJF the first time on time limits. Not a big deal in everyday work, but a purely objective criteria that I didn't achieve. No problem. I failed the second time because my scores weren't added correctly. I pointed this out and it was corrected. Again, purely objective, but a math mistake had been made and I had the opportunity to correct it. What if the math error had been the other way and I had passed when I should have failed? Would I have pointed it out? Would I have even noticed? I sure as Hell wouldn't have been looking.

In a long academic career, I often heard student's complain "grades aren't fair". I agree, but it goes both ways. I've gotten better grades than I deserved deserved because I made a lucky guess on the final (or was able to drop the heel of a shoe to fit the foot that I'd over rasped), and I've lost a letter grade because I misread a problem. Seldom has either been a personality clash or fit between me and the grader. By the time you graduate with 40 or so courses, it evens out.

The professional engineering exam. allows for you to ask that the exam be rescored if you're close. Personally, I believe that within two or three points either way, a reevaluation is appropriate, not just a couple points on the low side, but I'm not Der Fuhrer in either case.

At any rate, all of these considerations only involve the marginal candidates. It's time to move on.
Jack Evers CJF AFA#426

The best things about the good old days -- I wasn't good and I wasn't old.

The older I get, the more horses I shoe, the fewer things that I can absolutely, positively fix.
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RE:AFA Scoring - Subject/ Objective? 15 Mar 2009 17:30 #10

  • Tom Stovall CJF
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clinkercjf in gray

As a past approved tester I can say that it is completeley subjective and there is no accountability among examiners.

I've tested a few candidates for CJF myself, among them, Jeff Engler and the late Burney Chapman, and I always did my doubledog damndest to follow the guidelines mandated by the AFA testing criteria. While it's true that any human assessment is inherently subjective, the AFA's tests are designed to be objective and their evaluation to be as objective as is humanly possible (i.e., the criteria are standardized, published in advance of testing and guidelines for evaluation clearly stated) and any purposeful subjectivity that enters into the evaluation is the result of the tester's failure to follow the guidelines.

without accountability there is no credibility.

There's considerable difference between accountability and credibility. An individual's failure to evaluate test scores according to the AFA's published criteria implies only the individual's failure to adhere to the evaluation criteria, that failure does not the affect tests' credibility. In other words, if tester/examiner fails to follow the evaluation criteria mandated by AFA guidelines, then his credibility, not the test's, is at risk.

They couldn't keep thirteen examiners on the same track and now they think it will be better with twice that number?

I dunno who "they" is, but Mr. Burten has alluded to ongoing tester/examiner clinics to insure that evaluation of the tests is within stated AFA guidelines and objectivity a priority for testers/examiners. Do you feel these clinics are ineffective? Do you feel more oversight should be mandated to insure guidelines are followed by testers/examiners?

The AFA of a few years ago was heading down the right track but now is just a "good ol' boys club" again.

Please be specific as to who was running the AFA when you think it was "heading down the right track" and who was in charge when you feel it morphed into a "good ol' boys club."

It is definately time for a changing of the guards.


Didn't the AFA just hold an election? :)
Tom Stovall, CJF
"The only foolish question is the one left unasked."
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RE:AFA Scoring - Subject/ Objective? 15 Mar 2009 18:01 #11

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Tom Stovall, CJF wrote:
While it's true that any human assessment is inherently subjective, the AFA's tests are designed to be objective and their evaluation to be as objective as is humanly possible (i.e., the criteria are standardized, published in advance of testing and guidelines for evaluation clearly stated) and any purposeful subjectivity that enters into the evaluation is the result of the tester's failure to follow the guidelines.
I have no real disagreement with this assessment. However, would it not be a better policy that once a score for an element was given, it could not be changed?
There's considerable difference between accountability and credibility. An individual's failure to evaluate test scores according to the AFA's published criteria implies only the individual's failure to adhere to the evaluation criteria, that failure does not the affect tests' credibility. In other words, if tester/examiner fails to follow the evaluation criteria mandated by AFA guidelines, then his credibility, not the test's, is at risk.
I disagree. since the tester/examiner is representing the AFA, it is indeed the credibility of the AFA that is, if not primarily, at least also, at risk. For after all, who is responsible for the accountability of the testers/examiners?

And, while, on paper, the criteria/standards may be quite credible, that is not what is at the heart of the matter. For regardless of how credible the standards might be, if they are not adhered to, then the credibility of the results is at risk.
I dunno who "they" is, but Mr. Burten has alluded to ongoing tester/examiner clinics to insure that evaluation of the tests is within stated AFA guidelines and objectivity a priority for testers/examiners. Do you feel these clinics are ineffective?
Having participated in several of these clinics, here is what I find. By the end of the clinic, most, if not all, of the attendees are on the same page. Once a bit of time has passed and the attendees have gone their separate ways and have begun to score candidate's work, they seem to not only not be on the same page anymore, but often, aren't in the same chapter of the book.
Do you feel more oversight should be mandated to insure guidelines are followed by testers/examiners?
Not necessarily. I do feel that once an element has been scored, that score should stand without any alteration. So, score the exam in ink, allow no changes to the score, and don't allow a replacement score sheet to be used simply because a tester/examiner wants to change a score already given.
I think that then, you will indeed see testers/examiners get and remain on the same page.

Further, those score sheets should be analyzed and if a scoring pattern by a given individual is at odds with other tester/examiner scoring, then that individual should be checked to determine why s/he is regularly at variance from the norm/median.
Perhaps it is time to up the number of individuals who score each horse. ie:
two individuals for the CF exam and four individuals for the CTF and CJF exams. All individuals to score all feet of the horse(s) they are assigned to evaluate. A difference of more than .5 between/among the assigned individuals would be acceptable, anything more than that a cause for concern and evaluation of the individuals involved. Or, perhaps, the high score and the low score(at the CTF/CJF level) could be thrown out and the remaining scores averaged.
Rick Burten PF

In the immortal words of Ron White: "But let me tell you something, folks: You can't fix S-tupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. S-tupid is forever."
."


Je pense donc je suis
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RE:AFA Scoring - Subject/ Objective? 15 Mar 2009 18:08 #12

  • Rick Burten
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tbloomer wrote:
So by merely claiming that the current practice of reportedly changing scores is objective, I have somehow brought to light the glaring subjectivity that was denied to exist? Does this mean that the process has any less credibility than it did before I tried to describe it as objective.
Yes.
What's to prevent a math savvy tester from keeping a running total and failing or passing a candidate deliberately while filling out the score sheet in pen?
Nothing. But why would they do so? Wouldn't that also adversely affect the claim of objectivity and credibility?
What is the single repeatable consistant determining factor that a tester uses to determine a score of 7, higher or lower?
Chapter 9 of the AFA's Certification Guide.
Is giving the sum of 10 cumulative opinions more or less credible than one opinion?
IMNTBCHO, No.
Rick Burten PF

In the immortal words of Ron White: "But let me tell you something, folks: You can't fix S-tupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. S-tupid is forever."
."


Je pense donc je suis
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RE:AFA Scoring - Subject/ Objective? 15 Mar 2009 18:33 #13

Rick , It sounds like Chairman of the Certification Commitee, would be the next logical step for you political carreer.
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RE:AFA Scoring - Subject/ Objective? 15 Mar 2009 18:38 #14

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Jake Whitman wrote:
Rick , It sounds like Chairman of the Certification Commitee, would be the next logical step for you political carreer.
Thanks Jake but I no longer have any wish or need to become enmeshed in the politics of the AFA, regardless of level. Besides, for me, shortly, it will be a moot point.
Rick Burten PF

In the immortal words of Ron White: "But let me tell you something, folks: You can't fix S-tupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. S-tupid is forever."
."


Je pense donc je suis
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RE:AFA Scoring - Subject/ Objective? 15 Mar 2009 18:56 #15

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Rick, Retirement or Valhalla?
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