Introduction to Item Response Theory (IRT)

Introduction to Item Response Theory (IRT)

taught by Karen Schmidt

Aim of Course:

This online course, "Introduction to Item Response Theory (IRT)" will introduce you to the statistical basis for analyzing multiple-choice survey or test data - item response theory. This includes both dichotomous (two-outcome) data and polytomous (multiple outcome) data.  After introducing the key foundational concepts of traits, items, scales and scores, the course goes on to cover how to measure and model response data.  After taking this course, you should be able to understand how IRT is used, which models are appropriate for different contexts, how to construct scales, and understand output from IRT analyses.

This course may be taken individually (one-off) or as part of a certificate program.
Course Program:

Week 1:  Introduction, Theory, Concepts

  • History of IRT
  • Classical test theory and IRT
  • Why is effective measurement important?
  • Traits, items, scales and scores

Week 2: Measuring Dichotomous Responses

  • Adding item parameters: 1-, 2- and 3-Parameter models
  • What do the scores mean?
  • Dichotomous scale construction considerations

Week 3:  Measuring Polytomous Responses

  • The Graded Response Model
  • What do the scores mean?
  • Polytomous scale construction considerations

Week 4:  Practical Considerations and Applications of IRT

  • Assessing fit: How well do the items work?
  • Item and scale effectiveness: Dimensionality, Standard Errors, Information
  • Differential Item Functioning (DIF) and Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT)

Homework:

The homework in this course consists of multiple-choice questions on course concepts, ungraded practice exercises using R, and a final project using R.

Introduction to Item Response Theory (IRT)

Who Should Take This Course:
Researchers, social scientists, and education measurement scientists who want to learn about analyzing and creating better scales, tests, and questionnaires.
Level:
Introductory
Prerequisite:

In this course, you will use Excel and R (we recommend using R in conjunction with R Studio). Some familiarity with R is assumed (exercises and materials will be provided to introduce you to R and R Studio with roughly 3 hours of additional work.)

Warning: The first week of the course has a comparatively heavy workload of regular course material, so if you are very new to R, be sure to appropriately budget your time.

Organization of the Course:
Options for Credit and Recognition:
Specialization:
Course Text:

Course subject materials will be provided in each lesson. A suggested text (not required), for those who wish a more rigorous review of the concepts, is Fundamentals of Item Response Theory (Measurement Methods for the Social Science) by Ronald K. Hambleton, available on Amazon or on Sage.

Software:
In this course, you will use Excel and R (we recommend using R in conjunction with R Studio). Some familiarity with R is assumed (exercises and materials will be provided to introduce you to R and R Studio with roughly 3 hours of additional work.)

Warning: The first week of the course has a comparatively heavy workload of regular course material, so if you are very new to R, be sure to appropriately budget your time.

Instructor(s):

Dates:

August 16, 2019 to September 13, 2019 February 14, 2020 to March 13, 2020

Introduction to Item Response Theory (IRT)

Instructor(s):

Dates:
August 16, 2019 to September 13, 2019 February 14, 2020 to March 13, 2020

Course Fee: $589

Do you meet course prerequisites? What about book & software? (Click here to learn more)

We have flexible policies to transfer to another course, or withdraw if necessary (modest fee applies)

Group rates: Click here to get information on group rates. 

First time student or academic? Click here for an introductory offer on select courses. Academic affiliation?  You may be eligible for a discount at checkout.

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