Determining content validity for the Transition Awareness and Possibilities Scale (TAPS)

Melynda Burck Ross

Abstract

The Transition Awareness & Possibilities Scale (TAPS) was crafted after an extensive review of literature was conducted to find research that examined and described specific aspects of transition programming: inputs, including supports and skill instruction; processes, including parent and support provider perceptions of the transition experience; and outcomes, including quality of life and traditional, quantitatively-measured outcomes. Once developed, the TAPS will allow a teacher or transition coordinator to know what information a family is lacking about transition planning and adult service options for students with disabilities who need extensive or pervasive supports. In this research, content validity was used as a collective term to describe (a) wording clarity (b) content domain representativeness, and (c) content domain sampling adequacy. To establish content validity for the TAPS, ten experts who had backgrounds in the overall content area of special education and transition, specific niche areas (i.e., subtopics of inputs, processes, or outputs), as well as survey design were consulted. The reviewers were asked to rate the items on the TAPS using a researcher-created instrument. This allowed for the collection of both quantitative data and additional commentary. For each section, reviewers were asked to give standardized ratings for the representativeness of the content domain and wording clarity for both questions and answer choices. These were rated separately, each on four-point scales, with a rating of "4" indicating that no revisions were necessary, and a rating of "1" indicating that the item was not representative or not clear. From these scores, the average pairwise agreement was then calculated to determine the amount of absolute agreement between reviewers. The average pairwise agreement consistently revealed good agreement between the reviewers in all areas except wording clarity. The reviewers' comments addressed six concerns: consistency, clarifications, additions, omissions, formatting, and relevancy. It was this qualitative data that provided the most insight to the ratings and made sense of the numbers (i.e., because the end goal is to revise the TAPS, the reviewers' comments were more useful than statistics that simply indicated the reviewers' disagreement).