Session S11 (Sunday, 2pm, Thomas 118)

P67: Differential item functioning on multiple choice general chemistry assessments

Lisa Kendhammer (University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, USA), Thomas Holme (ACS Examinations Institute, USA), Kristen Murphy (University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, USA)

In many general chemistry classes there are an approximately even number of males and female students enrolled.  Therefore, it is imperative that the assessments given in the class are valid and unbiased toward one gender or the other.  One way to determine if an assessment is biased towards one gender over the other is to use Differential Item Functioning (DIF). DIF occurs when two subgroups who are match on equal proficiency perform statically different on an assessment item.  To examine for underlying causes of DIF items, items that were previously determined to be persistent DIF items were coded into semi-structured interviews using an eye tracker.  The pupil diameter, time on task, and fixations on areas of interest were analyzed to better understand the students’ problem-solving process.  We will present on the combination of the class-wide analysis and semi-structured interviews for a better understanding of persistent DIF items.


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