Lori J. Lutz
Carolyn M. Callahan
The University of Virginia
Numerous schools and school systems do not have easy access to information regarding current identification and evaluation issues, practices, and instruments used in the education of gifted students. The National Repository of The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented was established as a resource to provide empirical data to assist school administrators, teachers, and coordinators in making informed decisions about their identification and evaluation procedures.
In the past year, we have received over 70 requests for specific database searches. This demand indicates a strong interest in our databases. Nearly all of the identification and evaluation databases at the University of Virginia site are now established and organized to meet the demand of requestors. The identification databases include reviews of identification instruments, references to articles on the use of specific identification instruments and tests, references to articles about special identification issues and concerns, references to local identification instruments and processes, and a bibliography of published and standardized identification tests. Current evaluation databases include references to local evaluation instruments and processes.
A listing of standardized identification measures includes names and addresses of instruments. All this information may be located in a computer database according to a specified construct, such as general intellectual ability, verbal ability, task commitment, creativity, or acting ability; a school level (ranging from prekindergarten to high school); or a population such as learning disabled, Hispanic, African-American, or low SES. Requests most frequently center on the constructs of general intellectual ability, verbal ability, mathematical ability, creativity-ideation, creative problem-solving, inter/intra-personal ability, psychomotor ability, and mathematical achievement.
Requests have also been made for specific instruments, such as the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, Raven’s Progressive Matrices, the Cognitive Abilities Test, and Screening Assessment for Gifted Elementary Students.
Evaluation databases continue to be revised. The two complete databases contain information about published and standardized instruments used in the evaluation of gifted students and/or gifted programs and articles about using information from evaluations. Four remaining databases are currently being revised and upgraded. A database of evaluation design articles includes summaries of models and assumptions underlying these design models and describes the use of design. The evaluation utilization database includes abstracts of articles on assessment issues, guidelines for effective evaluation, and considerations of factors affecting evaluation. Studies of program evaluation, evaluation utilization, and data collection, and articles presenting methods of effective evaluation comprise the evaluation bibliography database. Finally, a list of standardized instruments used in program evaluation is available.
Schools from across the U.S. have contributed their local identification and evaluation instruments to share with other schools that may be interested in examining alternative identification and evaluation methods. People requesting this information will receive copies of actual forms and addresses of the schools that use these forms so they can contact the schools if they want to implement similar procedures or to seek further information. People who are interested in using the NRC/GT’s Repository of Identification and Evaluation Instruments can request an order form by calling the NRC/GT at University of Virginia at (804) 982-2849 or writing to the NRC/GT, Database Requests, Curry School of Education, 405 Emmet Street, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903. Order forms will be sent and then the requestor can review and check off the desired database and specific components such as school level, construct, or evaluation question.