ERIC Number: ED330716
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Item Characteristic Curves: A New Theoretical Approach.
Garcia-Perez, Miguel A.; Frary, Robert B.
A new approach to the development of the item characteristic curve (ICC), which expresses the functional relationship between the level of performance on a given task and an independent variable that is relevant to the task, is presented. The approach focuses on knowledge states, decision processes, and other circumstances underlying responses to objective tests. Earlier work on finite state models of objective test performance provides the basis for deriving expressions for ICCs that directly account for factors such as examinee willingness to guess, mode of test administration, number of options per item, and response strategy of the examinees. This approach uses a parameterization of ability different from that used in conventional item response theory (IRT) and yields ICCs that are polynomial functions of ability. The degree and coefficients of these polynomials depend in part on certain psychological/circumstantial factors. Examples are provided to demonstrate the means by which differing assumptions about objective test response strategies lead to variation in the shapes of the resulting ICCs. The advantages that IRT could gain from adoption of these ICCs are discussed, and the work that remains to be done before finite state polynomic ICCs can be used in practice is outlined. Some possible extensions to the finite state approach are also discussed. Six figures and a 40-item list of references are included. (Author/TJH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Finite Element Methods; Item Characteristic Function; Item Parameters
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).