Seventh International Conference on Probabilistic Models for Measurement Developments with Rasch Models
Mr Mishack Tshele (Data Manager of the Centre for Evaluation and Assessment) and Ms Celeste Combrinck (Science, Mathematics and Technology Education) attended the 7th International Conference on Probabilistic Models for Measurement Developments with Rasch Models held at the University of Western Australia on the 17 to the 19th January 2018. The conference presented studies in the many areas in which Rasch measurement theory can be applied with a strong international presence.
Ms Combrinck, the winner of the Tim Dunne Award presented a paper entitled “Understanding complex results in large scale assessment: the contribution of Rasch theory”. The paper focused on the South African Grade 5 learners who participated in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and were assessed in isiZulu, the Language of Learning and Teaching (LOLT) in 2006 and 2016. The paper examined the equivalence of the two rounds of assessment by investigating differential test functioning (DTF) for the anchor items as well as overall difficulty of the passages. Another paper, entitled “Large Scale International Testing in a Multilingual Environment” was presented by Mr Mishack Tshele, which was co-authored with Prof. Caroline Long from the University of Johannesburg (UJ). This is the secondary analysis of the PIRLS 2011 data which investigated the data from two language groups, IsiZulu and Sepedi, on a single passage. The study explored targeting of the test, item and person fit statistics, the presence of guessing and differential item functioning.
Among the ten South Africans who presented at the conference were Prof. Vanessa Scherman (University of South Africa), Prof. Caroline Long (University of Johannesburg), Rajan Debba, Cathrine Kazunga and Harrison Ngirishi from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Other participants came from around the globe, including from countries such as Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United States of America, and the United Kingdom.