# Using the Right Tool for the Job: An Analysis of Item Selection Statistics for Criterion-referenced Tests

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In test development, researchers often depend upon item analysis in order to select items to retain or add to an exam form. The conventional item analysis statistic is the point-biserial correlation. This statistic was developed to select items that would maximize the reliability indices (such as Cronbach's alpha) of norm-referenced tests. When the focus of the exam is norm-referenced scores, then the point-biserial correlation works well as an item selection tool. However, the point-biserial correlation is also used in testing contexts where it may be less useful, specifically on criterion-referenced tests. In criterion-referenced testing, the focus of the test is typically not on examinee scores but rather on examinee classification. Criterion-referenced tests also have different reliability indices than norm-referenced tests, known as decision consistency indices. As such, using the point-biserial correlation to select items to maximize decision consistency may not have as much utility as other options. Researchers have developed several criterion-referenced item analysis statistics that have yet to be fully evaluated for their utility in selecting items for criterion-referenced tests. These statistics are the agreement statistic, the B-index, and the phi-coefficient. The purpose of this research was to evaluate each of the respective criterion-referenced item selection tools as well as the point-biserial correlation to determine which one optimized decision consistency. Results suggested that the point-biserial correlation had equivalent or better utility for maximizing reliability in criterion-referenced tests when compared to the criterion-referenced item analysis statistics (the B-index, the phi coefficient, and the agreement statistic).... tempa tempb; run;*/ *Pilot cut scores (Truecutscore) are equal to 0= 230, -1= 163, -1.3= 144; %macro main (numSample, numltems, thetaCut, Truecutscore, constraints) ; %do rep = 1 %to 1000; % select Items ( aamp;numSample, aamp;True cut score, anbsp;...

 Title : Using the Right Tool for the Job: An Analysis of Item Selection Statistics for Criterion-referenced Tests Author : Andrew Jones Publisher : ProQuest - 2009