Lisa Kendhammer (University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, USA), Thomas Holme (ACS Examinations Institute, USA), Kristen Murphy (University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, USA)
With approximately equal number of male and female students entering the STEM fields it is necessary that each gender has an equal opportunity to obtain the best grade possible. With assessments being a large source of the students’ overall grade in the class it is imperative that those assessments be valid and unbiased. One way to determine this is to use Differential Item Functioning (DIF). DIF occurs when subgroups that are matched on equal abilities perform statistically different on an item on an assessment where typically students that are matched with equivalent ability would have an equivalent possibility of answering the question correctly. General chemistry items based on possible gender DIF were studied for persistence, the extent of persistence and if varying content and construct affect the persistence. Additionally, the use of internally and externally relevant measures of proficiency matching will be presented.