Caitlin Gdowski is an Associate Manager of Test Development at the Center for Applied Linguistics. As a member of the Language Assessment Division, she primarily contributes to test development activities for the ACCESS for ELLs English proficiency assessment in collaboration with WIDA. Caitlin manages the development of new items for the Reading domain of ACCESS for ELLs. She oversees the process of developing new tasks, starting with the revision of specifications and development of raw content, through item writing and reviews by educators, refinement by test developers and field testing, to the delivery of finalized items for operational testing.
Before joining CAL, Caitlin was a Research Technician at the University of Michigan English Language Institute (now Michigan Language Assessment). As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kyrgyzstan (2011-13), Caitlin taught English to middle and high school students. She holds a master’s degree in English Language Teaching (specializing in Testing and Assessment) from the University of Warwick, and bachelor’s degrees in Linguistics and Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Sciences from the University of Michigan.
This short Q&A aims to provide insight into how test development and psychometric researchers at CAL identify biased items and prevent sensitive topics from appearing on CAL’s language proficiency assessments.