Using Psychometrics to Your Benefit

April 22, 2015 Kristen Hicks

Just how well are your assessments performing? Are they managing to accomplish what you mean them to?

As more institutions move toward creating a culture of assessment, the expectations for those exams are set very high. As educators look to their exams to help prove student success and provide evidence of learning, what safeguards are in place to make sure the assessments themselves are performing well?

Why Psychometrics are Important to Educators

Exam creation isn’t easy – there’s a lot to take into consideration when working on each test:

• Are all the goals and topic areas I need to cover represented?
• Are the questions well written and fair?
• Are they the right level of difficulty for what we’ve covered in class?
• Do they show a clear demonstration of whether the student has mastered the subject or not?
• Are they written in a way that will help students come to their certification exams better prepared?

It might not always seem like it, but writing valid exam questions is a science. Psychometrics allows you to track how your questions perform, analyze the results, and apply what you’ve learned to make your exams and exam questions as valid as possible.

Collecting and Applying the Data

ExamSoft has just released a new white paper that covers the main types of data educators can use to improve their test questions.

• The P-Value
• Upper 27%
• Lower 27%
• Discrimination Index
• Point Biserial
• KR-20

All these equations can all sound complicated and technical, but this resource will help you understand exactly what you need to know to make use of the data you’re collecting. Each of these values provides important insights that will help you determine if your questions are meeting their goals, and help pinpoint what problems are occurring to help you create more successful exams.

For more information, or to request a tour of how ExamSoft works, click here.


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