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Differential Item Functioning (DIF) by Gender in Mathematics Assessment

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The purpose of this session is to introduce participants to the concept of Differential Item Functioning (DIF) and to experience a DIF investigation in the process of instrument- development. DIF is sometimes called ‘bias’ and relates to the way test items, ‘bundles’ and tests function differentially for separate subgroups (eg boys and girls). The participants will be given the opportunity to rate test items based on the item characteristics taxonomy. The ratings of participants will be subjected to the “Inverse Partial Credit Model” analysis. The result will be a set of thresholds for the participants (how easy for them to classify the items based on the items characteristics) and the different parameters for each item based on the item characteristics. This will be the organising principle to bundle the items together. Previous research on gender DIF and gender differences will be used to generate DIF hypotheses. These hypotheses will be validated with the DIF analyses from the empirical data. The generated data will be used to explain the data analysis process.

This talk is part of the The Psychometrics Centre series.

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