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ERIC Number: EJ1083297
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: EISSN-1554-9178
Students' Proficiency Scores within Multitrait Item Response Theory
Scott, Terry F.; Schumayer, Daniel
Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, v11 n2 p020134-1-020134-12 Jul-Dec 2015
In this paper we present a series of item response models of data collected using the Force Concept Inventory. The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) was designed to poll the Newtonian conception of force viewed as a multidimensional concept, that is, as a complex of distinguishable conceptual dimensions. Several previous studies have developed single-trait item response models of FCI data; however, we feel that multidimensional models are also appropriate given the explicitly multidimensional design of the inventory. The models employed in the research reported here vary in both the number of fitting parameters and the number of underlying latent traits assumed. We calculate several model information statistics to ensure adequate model fit and to determine which of the models provides the optimal balance of information and parsimony. Our analysis indicates that all item response models tested, from the single-trait Rasch model through to a model with ten latent traits, satisfy the standard requirements of fit. However, analysis of model information criteria indicates that the five-trait model is optimal. We note that an earlier factor analysis of the same FCI data also led to a five-factor model. Furthermore the factors in our previous study and the traits identified in the current work match each other well. The optimal five-trait model assigns proficiency scores to all respondents for each of the five traits. We construct a correlation matrix between the proficiencies in each of these traits. This correlation matrix shows strong correlations between some proficiencies, and strong anticorrelations between others. We present an interpretation of this correlation matrix.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A