A Simulation Study of Methods for Assessing Differential Item Functioning in Computerized Adaptive Tests

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A Simulation Study of Methods for Assessing Differential Item Functioning in Computerized Adaptive Tests

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1994

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Simulated data were used to investigate the performance of modified versions of the Mantel-Haenszel method of differential item functioning (DIF) analysis in computerized adaptive tests (CATs). Each simulated examinee received 25 items from a 75-item pool. A three-parameter logistic item response theory (IRT) model was assumed, and examinees were matched on expected true scores based on their CAT responses and estimated item parameters. The CAT-based DIF statistics were found to be highly correlated with DIF statistics based on nonadaptive administration of all 75 pool items and with the true magnitudes of DIF in the simulation. Average DIF statistics and average standard errors also were examined for items with various characteristics. Finally, a study was conducted of the accuracy with which the modified Mantel-Haenszel procedure could identify CAT items with substantial DIF using a classification system now implemented by some testing programs. These additional analyses provided further evidence that the CAT-based DIF procedures performed well. More generally, the results supported the use of IRT-based matching variables in DIF analysis. Index terms: adaptive testing, computerized adaptive testing, differential item functioning, item bias, item response theory.

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Zwick, Rebecca; Thayer, Dorothy T.; Wingersky, Marilyn. (1994). A Simulation Study of Methods for Assessing Differential Item Functioning in Computerized Adaptive Tests. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/120014.

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