Understanding Test Item Quality: The Development of an Unbiased Test

By Khalid Abida, Muhammad Iqbal Majoka, Akhtar Munira, Muhammad Azeem, Ashiq Hussain and Zahida Habib.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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This study explores the understanding concerning the quality of test items. The main emphasis is on the developmental procedure of unbiased test items using item analysis of model papers. The data was collected from ninth grade students of three different districts of Punjab by administering an achievement test in the area of chemistry. Item characteristics, item difficulty, item discrimination indices and distractor and differential item functioning (DIF) analyses were carried out using different computer software, like SPSS, ITEMAN, BILOG and Mental-Haenzal procedures. This software was used to categorize rejected, poor, good, and biased items. These indices were compared using Classical Testing Theory (CTT) and Item Response Theory (IRT). Our analyses suggest which items are weak and which items need to be revised. IRT based analysis identified that 14 items were moderate, 18 items were difficult and no items were easier; 38 items were good discriminators. Mental-Haenzal procedures identified that 15 items across both genders and 25 items location-wise were biased.

Keywords: Test Development, Assessment of Students, Learning, Science Achievement Test

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.195-212. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 976.167KB).

Khalid Abida

Assistant Professor, Division of Education, University of Education, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

Ms. Abida is an eminent educator. She has 22 years of teaching experience at the College and University levels. She is a researcher of high caliber and has supervised approximately 250 Research Projects at the University level. Currently, she holds the designation of Assistant Professor at University Of Education, Lahore. She is also a Ph.D Scholar in the University of Management & Technology. She has compiled books on diversified topics. The titles of the books are as follows: Contemporary Modes of Thoughts in Philosophy of 21st Century, Basics of Educational Research with SPS Analysis, Phonetics and Phonology in English, Educational Research and electronic data analysis, and Introduction to Education.

Muhammad Iqbal Majoka

Assistant Professor, Department of Education, Hazara University, Mansehra, Mansehra, Khyber Pukhtonkhwa, Pakistan

Muhammad Iqbal Majoka holds a Ph.D. in Education and an M.Sc. in Mathematics. He is an Assistant Professor at Hazara University in Mansehra, Pakistan, where he teaches and supervises researchers at the M.Ed., M.Phil., and Ph.D. levels. His interests include Educational Psychology (Learning) and Educational Research Special Experience. He has vast experience in classroom teaching at the secondary level in the subjects of mathematics and physics. He has published a research paper entitled “Effect of Cooperative Learning on Academic Achievement and Retention of Secondary Grader Mathematics Students” in the Journal of Education Research, Vol. 10, No 1, 2007, PP 44-56, Department of Education, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur Pakistan, 2008. He also presented this paper at the International Conference on Teaching and Learning ICTL, 2007 November 15-16, 2007. Among the students under his supervision, four M.Phil. scholars have completed their research and have been notified of their results. The topics of the research under his supervision include: Quality Education in Public and Private Sector at Secondary Level in Hazara Region; Evaluation of Library Services in Govt. Higher Secondary Schools for Boys in NWFP; To Compare Learning Outcomes of 7th Grade Students Taught by Cooperative Learning Versus Traditional Method of Teaching in Social Studies; Effect of Cooperative Learning on Learning Outcomes in Mathematics Class at Primary Level.

Akhtar Munira

Career Advisor, Beaconhouse School System, Lahore, Pakistan

Ms. Munira Akhtar is a well known and qualified educationist. She has 20 years of diversified experience in teaching, career counseling, and as a Language expert. She also has a rich experience of School Administration. Ms. Munira has taught IELTS, TOEFL,O/A Level English,and English Language courses to students of different levels and professionals of diverse backgrounds. She is also a visiting faculty member at various prestigious institutions including Kinnaird College and University for women.She has set up language programs for many reputable institutions. She is currently working as a Career Advisor and English Language Specialist in Beaconhouse School System.

Muhammad Azeem

Assessment Expert, Assessment and Research Section, Punjab Education Assessment System (PEAS), Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

Mr. Muhammad Azeem is working as Assessment Expert at Punjab Education Assessment System, Govt. of The Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. He has submitted his doctoral thesis at the Division of Education, University of Education, Lahore under Indigenous PhD Fellowship from HEC Pakistan. His area of interest is educational assessment, evaluation, and testing. He has written a number of articles and research papers in different local and international magazines and journals. He has written a research book entitled "Basics of Educational Research with Introduction to SPSS Analysis" for student teachers of graduate and post graduate classes. He has visited the School of Education, University of Leicester, UK as a Doctoral Research Fellow.

Ashiq Hussain

Controller Examination, University of Education, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

Mr. Ashiq Hussain is pursuing his PhD in Education. He earned a B.A with honour in Economics along with a B.Ed. He has earned the degree of LLB from the University of Punjab and an M.A in Urdu, Political Science and Education. He also has a M.Phil in Iqbal Studies. He is now serving the nation as Dy. District Education Officer. He has served in different administrative posts such as AEO, Headteacher in High Schools and the District Coordinator Officer for AIOU.

Dr. Zahida Habib

Lecture, Department of edcuation, University of Education, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

Zahida Habib is a PhD scholar at the University of Education in Lahore, Pakistan. She is working as the Principal of the Government Special Education Center of Wahgo Town, Lahore. Her career objective is to contribute to advanced educational research and training of educators. Her areas of interest are research methodology and teacher education.