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Abstract Title: Using IRT to rank incorrect responses FMCE questions
Abstract: Research-based assessment instruments (RBAIs) have been standard tools for measuring student learning in physics for decades. The prevalence and power of using RBAIs hinge on the incorrect "distractors" being designed to correspond with students' intuitive ideas, and typical analyses yielding a single number that is straightforward to calculate and easy to understand. Unfortunately, by (implicitly) considering all incorrect responses to be equivalent, these analyses throw away much of the rich information that students provide when they select responses corresponding with particular intuitive ideas. We present analyses of more than 7,000 students' responses to the FMCE. Using item response theory (IRT), we show that students' likelihood of selecting particular responses may be correlated with their overall understanding of Newtonian mechanics. We use IRT correlation parameters to rank incorrect responses and develop a scoring method that values what students know rather than focusing primarily on what they don't yet know.
Abstract Type: Symposium Poster
Parallel Session: Learning by Analyzing More Than Just Correct Answers
Session Time: Parallel Sessions Cluster I
Room: Cascade C

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Trevor I. Smith
Rowan University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Nasrine Bendjilali