Book Review:
Introduction to Rasch Measurement: Theory, Models, and Application

Published by JAM Press (2004), ISBN: 0-9755351-1-0. www.jampress.org
JAM library recommendation form

This comprehensive anthology of 701 pages with contributions from the Journal of Applied Measurement and a few other chapters is edited by Everett Smith and Richard Smith.

First, this book fills a clear and important need in the understanding and development of Rasch measurement. Almost all of us have suggested to someone that they get a copy of the 25 year old Best Test Design or keep a file drawer of articles on particular topics. Recently, we've had the readable contribution of Bond and Fox; Applying the Rasch Model, but it's very timely that someone put the best thought from last 2 decades of work into a primary source. Whether used for university instruction or as a desk reference, I think the book is extremely valuable for our times.

Richard and Everett have divided the text into 3 sections: Theory, Models, and Applications. Being good Rasch practitioners, they have also logically ordered chapters within sections with beginning concepts first so that chapters, even though from different authors, follow each other well. There are subject and author indexes, and all chapters have references. The book is extremely well-presented with clear figures, consistent presentation of equations, and leveled headers. In short, it's pretty easy to navigate the book looking for any particular topic, and I applaud the editors for the organization.

I think this book is just the right thing for those at the beginner stage who want to increase their understanding of Rasch models, or test developers who face an applied problem which they don't know how to handle. Along with the examples in the book and the references to modern software (Winsteps, Facets, RUMM, and Conquest), most test developers will find an answer or explanation to interpretation of all the most common Rasch applications. As a reader for graduate students, the book is seriously under-priced for those students who often pay $50 for something from the copy shop that's poorly printed or $120 for a textbook that is hardly readable!

Because the book consists of different authors writing originally for a journal, there are a few inconsistencies in the use of formula conventions, and some short-changed topics that beg for more discussion, but overall these are minor issues. In fact, the editors have demonstrated their awareness of the field by choosing the best authors for topics that fit (pun intended) the best thinking of those individuals: methods by Linacre, fit statistics by R. Smith, controversies by Andrich, standard setting by Stone.

Novices to the Rasch model won't necessarily notice or know the chapter authors, but they may wonder why popular names in the references aren't represented as chapter authors. By this logic, the book could have benefited with some chapters from some missing authors who didn't have contributions in JAM, but may have been logical additions for a basic collection of this type: Engelhard, Fisher, Masters, etc. Hopefully, the editors will make efforts to get some of those others into the new collection which they are working on now.

Overall, this is an excellent collection of excellent writing. The book is a logical overview of the Rasch model as it stands today that doesn't exist in this detail elsewhere. Introduction to Rasch Measurement should be useful for library collections, as a desk reference for test developers, or as a course supplement.

Steve Lang

University of South Florida St. Petersburg


Book Review: Introduction to Rasch Measurement: Theory, Models, and Application, S. Lang … Rasch Measurement Transactions, 2005, 18:4 p. 9



Rasch Publications
Rasch Measurement Transactions (free, online) Rasch Measurement research papers (free, online) Probabilistic Models for Some Intelligence and Attainment Tests, Georg Rasch Applying the Rasch Model 3rd. Ed., Bond & Fox Best Test Design, Wright & Stone
Rating Scale Analysis, Wright & Masters Introduction to Rasch Measurement, E. Smith & R. Smith Introduction to Many-Facet Rasch Measurement, Thomas Eckes Invariant Measurement: Using Rasch Models in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences, George Engelhard, Jr. Statistical Analyses for Language Testers, Rita Green
Rasch Models: Foundations, Recent Developments, and Applications, Fischer & Molenaar Journal of Applied Measurement Rasch models for measurement, David Andrich Constructing Measures, Mark Wilson Rasch Analysis in the Human Sciences, Boone, Stave, Yale
in Spanish: Análisis de Rasch para todos, Agustín Tristán Mediciones, Posicionamientos y Diagnósticos Competitivos, Juan Ramón Oreja Rodríguez

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