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Maintenance of vertical scales under conditions of item parameter drift and Rasch model-data misfit
With scant research to draw upon with respect to the maintenance of vertical scales over time, decisions around the creation and performance of vertical scales over time necessarily suffers due to the lack of information. Undetected item parameter drift (IPD) presents one of the greatest threats to scale maintenance within an item response theory (IRT) framework. There is also still an outstanding question as to the utility of the Rasch model as an underlying viable framework for establishing and maintaining vertical scales. Even so, this model is currently used for scaling many state assessment systems. Most criticisms of the Rasch model in this context have not involved simulation. And most have not acknowledged conditions in which the model may function sufficiently to justify its use in vertical scaling. To address these questions, vertical scales were created from real data using the Rasch and 3PL models. Ability estimates were then generated to simulate a second (Time 2) administration. These simulated data were placed onto the base vertical scales using a horizontal vertical scaling approach and a mean-mean transformation. To examine the effects of IPD on vertical scale maintenance, several conditions of IPD were simulated to occur within each set of linking items. In order to evaluate the viability of using the Rasch model within a vertical scaling context, data were generated and calibrated at Time 2 within each model (Rasch and 3PL) as well as across each model (Rasch data generataion/3PL calibration, and vice versa). Results pertaining the first question of the effect IPD has on vertical scale maintenance demonstrate that IPD has an effect directly related to percentage of drifting linking items, the magnitude of IPD exhibited, and the direction. With respect to the viability of using the Rasch model within a vertical scaling context, results suggest that the Rasch model is perfectly viable within a vertical scaling context in which the model is appropriate for the data. It is also clearly evident that where data involve varying discrimination and guessing, use of the Rasch model is inappropriate.
Educational tests & measurements
O'Neil, Timothy P, "Maintenance of vertical scales under conditions of item parameter drift and Rasch model-data misfit" (2010). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3409829.