[Rasch] Rasch applied rashly to quash innovation

commons commons at tiac.net
Fri Dec 14 08:40:31 EST 2007

Difficulty will Rasch Analyze perfectly even though it consists of many sub
dimensions.  There are multiple paths.
My best,

Michael Lamport Commons, Ph.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor
Department of Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
234 Huron Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138-1328
commons at tiac.net
617-497-5270 Telephone
617-320-0896  Cellular
617-491-5270  Facsimile


From: rasch-bounces at acer.edu.au [mailto:rasch-bounces at acer.edu.au] On Behalf
Of Steven L. Kramer
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 12:00 PM
To: Theo Dawson; Rasch at acer.edu.au
Cc: robin Marcus
Subject: Re: [Rasch] Rasch applied rashly to quash innovation

Theo:  Yet another and perhaps more important question.
You said,

" I agree with your concerns. First of all, the folks who developed these
tests have erred if they think that identifying a typical learning pathway
with the Rasch model implies that the pathway that has been isolated is the
only legitimate pathway to learning. In fact, Rasch analysis can help us
identify alternative pathways by providing detailed information about
individuals who "misfit" the model

Yesterday, Andrew Kyngdon of MetaMetrics announced on the Rasch list-serve
that the next MetaMetrics conference will deal with their new "Quantile"
scale.  The Quantile scale is a formative assessment tool, used to place
students on a vertical scale and tell what math they know, what might be
fruitful to review, and what they are ready to learn next.  They are trying
to link state tests to their quantile scale, and may also have other
formative tests, perhaps with some adaptive testing (I'm not sure what their
plans are.)
In any case, I suspect that harm can be prevented if developers of a
Quantile scale explicitly look for multiple pathways through mathematics,
and place students not only at a position on a pathway, but also on the
pathway that applies to them.  (As a curriculum researcher, I suspect that
often the cause of differing paths may not reside in the student, but rather
in the instruction/curriculum to which the student is exposed.)
I have never much used or understood infit, outfit, etc.  Can you perhaps
provide references, or else provide a practical description of how "multiple
pathways" might be developed and used?
Steve Kramer
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