Add color to your psychometric data
Dichotomous item test data is to interactive scoring rate data as black and white is to color photography.
The vast bulk of school and government numeracy testing uses dichotomous item data, mostly generated from good old fashioned pencil and paper tests.
Active Math Java applies both dichotomous item data and scoring rate data to enrich the assessment process and to refine the task of identifying areas where students need to improve their skills.
So What is This About?
There is an abundance of erudite and learned material on the interpretation of dichotomous item data and the selection of items for inclusion in dichotomous item tests.
There is relatively little scholarly material on scoring rate data, although the Rasch book, Probabilistic Models, which inspired much of the dichtomous item research, included two chapters on the interpretation of rate data.
The Rasch-Itembank project sets out to fill this gap, and it sets out to do so with empirical data, rather than with a heavy reliance on theoretical mathematical modelling.
You can participate in the project, as an educationalist, a graphic designer, or programmer. You can express an interest in doing so on the Rasch-Itembank Project page of the Java.net web site.
Or you can set you own children, or the students in your class, to work using the Active Math software. The open version of the software is completely free.
Why participate? For recognition, inspiration, and a resource that will be made available to children from all backgrounds all over the world - an objective measure of number skills, free of racial prejudice or cultural bias.
At a simpler, perhaps more selfish, level, you can simply use the software to assess where you children stand on a live performance distribution curve, without having to send test results away for analysis by a third party. Who is in the upper quartile, and ready for more advanced material? Who is in the lower quartile and in need of remedial attention?
Pin Point Accuracy
The diagnostic power of Active Math Java is so great that setting a child a single question as simple as 2+2 will place the child on a performance distribution curve, like the one shown below.
And this happens instantaneously, while you watch. There is no need to send data away for analysis, no need to wait for results to come back. The information you need is there in front of you, right now.
And although the software can place a child on a performance distribution curve with a single test item, it is not of course limited to one item. On the contrary, it draws on the full resource of the Rasch-itembank.
The Rasch-itembank currently includes nearly 30,000 test items, including integer addition, subtraction multiplication and division, as well as whole tens, hundreds, thousands, and decimals to 3 decimal places, and a choice of three item rearrangements.
So Have a Go
The picture below is a screenshot of Active Math Java. Click anywhere on the picture to have a go.