John de Jong constructs second-language listening comprehension tests in English, French and German for the Dutch National Institute for Educational Measurement. Each test item is based on a segment of native speaker spoken language (e.g., an excerpt from German radio). Each listening comprehension test is given to native speakers of the same age as the Dutch students with whom it is to be used. Test results are Rasch analyzed.
In 1987 John showed me analyses of two tests. In one test a listening item was much less discriminating [poorer fit, lower point-biserial] than the other items. John's inspection of this item showed that, in the speech segment for that item, the speaker contradicted himself. This made it difficult ever for native speakers to know what the speaker was trying to say. Since this could explain the item's poor discrimination, John deleted it.
An item which is clear to native speakers, but problematic for non-native speakers, might seem to be an ideal test of second-language listening comprehension. Thus it might be thought that an ideal listening comprehension item would be one that discriminated sharply between native and non-native speakers.
John also showed me an unusually discriminating item [overfit, high point-biserial] from the other test. Native speakers [higher performers overall] did unusually well on this item relative to Dutch students [lower performers overall]. An inspection of the item showed that it was based on a conversation about German politics. The native-speaking (German) students would have an advantage on this item because of their ordinary knowledge of German politics. The high discrimination would be because this item sets Dutch students at a disadvantage unrelated to their knowledge of the German language.
This is an example of an item which is highly discriminating because of its sensitivity to a second irrelevant dimension that is highly correlated with the variable of interest. The contaminating influence of a second dimension often manifests itself in unusual item discrimination. For this reason, John deleted the item.
Both unusually low and unusually high discriminations merit further investigation.
Excerpted from a note to Ben Wright, dated August 1987.
Geoff N. Masters
Masters G.N. 1988. Item discrimination: when more is worse. Journal of Educational Measurement 25:1, 15-29.
Undesirable item discrimination. Masters GN. 1993, 7:2 p.289
Journal of Educational Measurement, 25, 1, 15 - March 1988
Item Discrimination: When More Is Worse
Geofferey N. Masters
High item discrimination can be a symptom of a special kind of measurement disturbance introduced by an item that gives persons of high ability a special advantage over and above their higher abilities. This type of disturbance, which can be interpreted as a form of item "bias," can be encouraged by methods that routinely interpret highly discriminating items as the "best" items on a test and may be compounded by procedures that weight items by their discrimination. The type of measurement disturbance described and illustrated in this paper occurs when an item is sensitive to individual differences on a second, undesired dimension that is positively correlated with the variable intended to be measured. Possible secondary influences of this type include opportunity to learn, opportunity to answer, and test wiseness.
Undesirable item discrimination. Masters GN. Rasch Measurement Transactions, 1993, 1993, 7:2 p.289
|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|
|Forum||Rasch Measurement Forum to discuss any Rasch-related topic|
Go to Top of Page
Go to index of all Rasch Measurement Transactions
AERA members: Join the Rasch Measurement SIG and receive the printed version of RMT
Some back issues of RMT are available as bound volumes
Subscribe to Journal of Applied Measurement
Go to Institute for Objective Measurement Home Page. The Rasch Measurement SIG (AERA) thanks the Institute for Objective Measurement for inviting the publication of Rasch Measurement Transactions on the Institute's website, www.rasch.org.
|Coming Rasch-related Events|
|Jan. 18 - 19, 2019, Fri.-Sat.||In-person workshop, Munich, Germany: Introduction to Rasch Measurement With Winsteps (William Boone, Winsteps), email@example.com|
|Jan. 25 - Feb. 22, 2019, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com|
|Jan. 28, 2019, Mon.||On-line course: Understanding Rasch Measurement Theory (ACER), https://www.acer.org/professional-learning/postgraduate/Rasch|
|Feb. 4 - 7, 2019, Mon.-Thur.||RUMM-based Rasch Workshop (in Italian), Bologna, Italy,https://mailinglist.acer.edu.au/pipermail/rasch/attachments/20190114/de6886f8/attachment.pdf|
|March 21, 2019, Thur.||13th annual meeting of the UK Rasch user group, Cambridge, UK, http://www.cambridgeassessment.org.uk/events/uk-rasch-user-group-2019|
|April 4 - 8, 2019, Thur.-Mon.||NCME annual meeting, Toronto, Canada,https://ncme.connectedcommunity.org/meetings/annual|
|April 5 - 9, 2019, Fri.-Tue.||AERA annual meeting, Toronto, Canada,www.aera.net/Events-Meetings/Annual-Meeting|
|May 24 - June 21, 2019, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com|
|June 28 - July 26, 2019, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Further Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com|
|July 11-12 & 15-19, 2019, Thu.-Fri.||A Course in Rasch Measurement Theory (D.Andrich), University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, flyer - http://www.education.uwa.edu.au/ppl/courses|
|Aug. 9 - Sept. 6, 2019, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (E. Smith, Facets), www.statistics.com|
|Oct. 11 - Nov. 8, 2019, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com|
|Jan. 24 - Feb. 21, 2020, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com|
|May 22 - June 19, 2020, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com|
|June 26 - July 24, 2020, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Further Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com|
|Aug. 7 - Sept. 4, 2020, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (E. Smith, Facets), www.statistics.com|
|Oct. 9 - Nov. 6, 2020, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com|
|June 25 - July 23, 2021, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Further Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com|
The URL of this page is www.rasch.org/rmt/rmt72f.htm