[Rasch] formative v. reflective measures in assessment research

Donald Bacon dbacon at du.edu
Sat Oct 26 04:57:14 EST 2013

Hi all -
   The Rasch model assumes that each measure in a scale reflects the same underlying trait, and so it seems that a reflective measurement model is appropriate, and internal consistency is a desirable quality.  But what about the case of a long comprehensive exam, such as one we might use for assessment.  In my experience, these exams often behave as if they were close to unidimensional, even though many different learning outcomes are captured.  If well designed, these tests often exhibit high internal consistency.  Because the models fit well, I've always thought of the measures as reflective, but perhaps my theory is wrong even though the fit is good; maybe the measures are formative.  Is there any way to use the Rasch model with formative indicators?

Thanks for any insights you might have -


Donald R. Bacon, Ph.D.
Professor of Marketing
Editor, Journal of Marketing Education
Daniels College of Business
University of Denver

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