Fred Davidson (Home Page)

Welcome to the Home Page for Fred Davidson

Professor of Linguistics

And via zero-time courtesy appointment:
Professor of Educational Psychology and of Curriculum and Instruction.
Member of the SLATE Program (Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education )

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

My areas of interest include language testing, research design and statistics for applied linguistics, and the history and philosophy of educational and psychological assessment.

My Current Research:
The development of language tests involves decisions about the skill(s) to be measured. A central tool in such development is a detailed test specification or "spec". A spec is a document from which many equivalent test items or tasks can be generated. My scholarly interests revolve around specs, which are not only tools to produce equivalent tests, but which are (more importantly) a means to generate progressive dialogue about test improvement. My current research interest concerns a concept called "spawining" -- this is when the development and use of one spec suggests that another spec is necessary. The new spec might reflect certain design and engineering needs across the entire test (like characteristics of supportive graphics that aid authenticity) and/or an expansion of the construct being measured.
(Here are some other important links.)
The Bike Project (Co-Op), Urbana, IL
The Fixed-Gear Gallery

I am named for my grandfather, Fred Davidson, shown here at his farm in Bayou, Kentucky, USA.
This photograph was taken before I was born. The name of the dog was Muggins.

Here is another photograph of my grandfather, taken after the shot above. It is in much the same location.

My grandfather liked to have his picture taken next to his car. Here, we have two examples -- both taken before I was born. If anybody can identify the make and model of each of the cars, please email me. The top photo was also taken at his farm in Bayou.