Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Degree

Spring 2011

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

Michael J. Kolen

Abstract

Mixed-format tests containing both multiple-choice (MC) items and constructed-response (CR) items are used in many testing programs. The use of multiple formats presents a number of measurement challenges, one of which is how to adequately equate mixed-format tests under the common-item nonequivalent groups (CINEG) design, especially when, due to practical constraints, the common-item set contains only MC items. The purpose of this dissertation was to evaluate how equating properties were preserved for mixed-format tests under the CINEG design.

Real data analyses were conducted on 22 equating linkages of 39 mixed-format tests from the Advanced Placement (AP) Examination program. Four equating methods were used: the frequency estimation (FE) method, the chained equipercentile (CE) method, item response theory (IRT) true score equating, and IRT observed score equating. In addition, cubic spline postsmoothing was used with the FE and CE methods. The factors of investigation were the correlation between MC and CR scores, the proportion of common items, the proportion of MC-item score points, and the similarity between alternate forms. Results were evaluated using three equating properties: first-order equity, second-order equity, and the same distributions property.

The main findings from this dissertation were as follows: (1) Between the two IRT equating methods, true score equating better preserved first-order equity than observed score equating, and observed score equating better preserved second-order equity and the same distributions property than true score equating. (2) Between the two traditional methods, CE better preserved first-order equity than FE, but in terms of preserving second-order equity and the same distributions property, CE and FE produced similar results. (3) Smoothing helped to improve the preservation of second-order equity and the same distributions property. (4) A higher MC-CR correlation was associated with better preservation of first-order equity for both IRT methods. (5) A higher MC-CR correlation was associated with better preservation of second-order equity for IRT true score equating. (6) A higher MC-CR correlation was associated with better preservation of the same distributions property for IRT observed score equating. (7) The proportion of common items, the proportion of MC score points, and the similarity between forms were not found to be associated with the preservation of the equating properties. These results are interpreted in the context of research literature in this area and suggestions for future research are provided.

Keywords

equating, first-order equity, mixed-format tests, same distributions property, second-order equity

Pages

xv, 219 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 103-109).

Copyright

Copyright 2011 Yi He

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