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Intensive Workshop in Item Response Theory (IRT)
Dr. Michael Toland (Educational, School, & Counseling Psychology) will be conducting an intensive workshop on IRT methods on Friday, October 2, 2015. The workshop will include both a morning (9-12) and afternoon (1-4) section. Both sessions will take place in the theater of the Marksbury Building on Rose Street.
Item response theory (IRT) is concerned with accurate test scoring and development of test items. You design test items to measure various kinds of abilities (such as math ability), traits (such as extroversion), or behavioral characteristics (such as employability). Responses to test items can be binary (such as correct or incorrect responses in ability tests) or ordinal (such as degree of agreement on Likert scales).
Traditionally, IRT models have been used to analyze these types of data in psychological assessments and educational testing. With the use of IRT models, you can not only improve scoring accuracy but also economize test administration by adaptively using only the discriminative items. These features might explain why in recent years IRT models have become increasingly popular in many other fields, such as medical research, health sciences, quality-of-life research, and even marketing research. Finally, the application of IRT models can help improve test scoring and develop better tests. You will see the value in applying item response theory, possibly in your own research!