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Astronomy Education Review
written by Colin S. Wallace and Janelle M. Bailey
Although concept inventories are among the most frequently used tools in the physics and astronomy education communities, they are rarely evaluated using item response theory (IRT). When IRT models fit the data, they offer sample-independent estimates of item and person parameters. IRT may also provide a way to measure students' learning gains that circumvents some known issues with Hake's normalized gain. In this paper, we review the essentials of IRT while simultaneously applying it to the Star Properties Concept Inventory. We also use IRT to explore an important psychometrics debate that has received too little attention from physics and astronomy education researchers: What do we mean when we say we "measure" a mental process? This question leads us to use IRT to address the provocative question that constitutes the title of this paper: Do concept inventories actually measure anything?
Astronomy Education Review: Volume 9, Issue 1, Pages 010116
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Astronomy
- Astronomy Education
= Education Research
Education Foundations
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
= Instruments
= Methods
- Research Design & Methodology
= Evaluation
= Statistics
- Graduate/Professional
- Reference Material
= Research study
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© 2010 The American Astronomical Society
DOI:
10.3847/AER2010024
NSF Numbers:
0833364
0715517
PACS:
01.40.Fk
Keywords:
IRT, Item response theory, SPCI, Star Properties Concept Inventory, psychometric testing
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created March 17, 2011 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
January 20, 2012 by Vince Kuo
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 3, 2010
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Record Link
AIP Format
C. Wallace and J. Bailey, Astron. Educ. Rev. 9 (1), 010116 (2010), WWW Document, (http://dx.doi.org/10.3847/AER2010024).
AJP/PRST-PER
C. Wallace and J. Bailey, Do Concept Inventories Actually Measure Anything?, Astron. Educ. Rev. 9 (1), 010116 (2010), <http://dx.doi.org/10.3847/AER2010024>.
APA Format
Wallace, C., & Bailey, J. (2010, December 3). Do Concept Inventories Actually Measure Anything?. Astron. Educ. Rev., 9(1), 010116. Retrieved December 17, 2017, from http://dx.doi.org/10.3847/AER2010024
Chicago Format
Wallace, Colin, and Janelle Bailey. "Do Concept Inventories Actually Measure Anything?." Astron. Educ. Rev. 9, no. 1, (December 3, 2010): 010116, http://dx.doi.org/10.3847/AER2010024 (accessed 17 December 2017).
MLA Format
Wallace, Colin, and Janelle Bailey. "Do Concept Inventories Actually Measure Anything?." Astron. Educ. Rev. 9.1 (2010): 010116. 17 Dec. 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.3847/AER2010024>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Colin Wallace and Janelle Bailey", Title = {Do Concept Inventories Actually Measure Anything?}, Journal = {Astron. Educ. Rev.}, Volume = {9}, Number = {1}, Pages = {010116}, Month = {December}, Year = {2010} }
Refer Export Format

%A Colin Wallace
%A Janelle Bailey
%T Do Concept Inventories Actually Measure Anything?
%J Astron. Educ. Rev.
%V 9
%N 1
%D December 3, 2010
%P 010116
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.3847/AER2010024
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Wallace, Colin
%A Bailey, Janelle
%D December 3, 2010
%T Do Concept Inventories Actually Measure Anything?
%J Astron. Educ. Rev.
%V 9
%N 1
%P 010116
%8 December 3, 2010
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.3847/AER2010024


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