[Rasch] question to all

Rense renselange at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 25 15:50:48 EST 2006

I am working on a book chapter in which I try to show using computer
simulated data as well as "real" data some of the most impressive features
of the Rasch model for the general public, students, colleagues, etc. Of
course, I will go through Ben Wright's books and Transaction articles to
find such things. Additionally, I am looking for examples of what you, or
those you've tried to explain the Rasch model to, find (or used to find) the
most amazing and impressive features and properties. The idea is to find a
half-dozen impressive examples and to present and discuss them at a rather
basic level - first course for education majors, say. If these examples seem
to contradict CTT, so much the better.
I am not necessarily looking for complicated theoretical wizardry here. For
instance, I've found that an accessible demonstration of the plain old
"item-free" measurement property (e.g., use "easy" vs. "hard" items and get
the same basic person estimates unless things are pushed too far) already is
a sure hit. Also, the "pairs" algorithm, which really estimates items'
locations without estimating also persons, and which can be explained in a
paragraph of text. CAT is another amazing application. Thus, the examples I
have in mind need not be "new" in any sense of the word, most are likely
already stated in our textbooks. The main thing I like to add is more
details, a wide range of conditions, lots of graphs, and (perhaps) software
for people to experiment with conditions they chose themselves.
So, if you have the time and the inclination, please tell me what in your
experience people find the most amazing, unbelievable, or surprising.
Rense Lange
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