Rasch Applications 2

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Rasch Applications, Part 2: Clinical Assessment, Survey Research, and Educational Measurement

taught by William Fisher, Jr.

Aim of Course:

Rasch measurement focuses on the calibration of instruments providing linear measures from scored observations, such as responses to multiple-choice educational examinations, survey Likert scales and clinically assigned assessments. This online course, "Rasch Applications, Part 2: Clinical Assessment, Survey Research, and Educational Measurement" covers the practical aspects of construct conceptualization, theory development, and instrument or item bank design, pilot testing, and calibration, relative to the different demands of four primary reasons for measuring (screening, diagnosis, research, accountability). The overarching value of equating and adaptively administering instruments is addressed. Supporting theory (meaningfulness, reliability, validity) is presented conceptually. Participants are encouraged to analyze their own datasets in parallel to the course datasets. This course is intended as a practical applications follow-on to Rasch Applications, Part I: How to Construct a Rasch Scale.

Course Program:

SESSION 1: Concepts and Operations in Rasch Measurement

  • Measurement theory
  • Measurement concepts
  • Integrating qualitative meaningfulness with quantitative rigor
  • Determining what you want to measure and why
  • The value of construct maps

SESSION 2: Rasch Instrument Design

  • A comprehensive instrument design science
  • Building reliability and precision into the instrument from the start
  • Reliability: Internal consistency or reproducible precision?
  • Annotating the construct map as the frame of reference

SESSION 3: Theory, Instrument, and Data (Using Rasch software)

  • Evidence-based, theory-driven, and instrumentally-mediated decision making
  • The role of pilot data in evaluating the instrument and improving the theory
  • The role of theory in interpreting the data and (re)writing the instrument
  • The role of the instrument in structuring the data and embodying the theory

SESSION 4: Practical Use of the Map in Navigating the Terrain: Linking, Equating, and Adaptive Administration

  • Choosing a metric
  • Anchoring the calibrations
  • Self-scoring forms
  • Interpreting the measures in practice
  • Collective cognition and the progress of science


Homework in this course consists of collaborative analysis projects in which you review the work of other students.

In addition to assigned readings, this course also has supplemental readings available online, and an end of course data modeling project.

Rasch Applications, Part 2: Clinical Assessment, Survey Research, and Educational Measurement

Who Should Take This Course:

Survey researchers and social scientists who use surveys, questionnaires, or tests in their work, education assessment analysts and managers.



Rasch Measurement - Core Concepts  or the equivalent familiarity with Rasch measurement concepts and ability to use Rasch measurement software.

Organization of the Course:

This course takes place online at the Institute for 4 weeks. During each course week, you participate at times of your own choosing - there are no set times when you must be online. Course participants will be given access to a private discussion board. In class discussions led by the instructor, you can post questions, seek clarification, and interact with your fellow students and the instructor.

At the beginning of each week, you receive the relevant material, in addition to answers to exercises from the previous session. During the week, you are expected to go over the course materials, work through exercises, and submit answers. Discussion among participants is encouraged. The instructor will provide answers and comments, and at the end of the week, you will receive individual feedback on your homework answers.

Time Requirement:
About 15 hours per week, at times of  your choosing.

Students come to the Institute for a variety of reasons. As you begin the course, you will be asked to specify your category:

  1. You may be interested only in learning the material presented, and not be concerned with grades or a record of completion.
  2. You may be enrolled in PASS (Programs in Analytics and Statistical Studies) that requires demonstration of proficiency in the subject, in which case your work will be assessed for a grade.
  3. You may require a "Record of Course Completion," along with professional development credit in the form of Continuing Education Units (CEU's).  For those successfully completing the course,  CEU's and a record of course completion will be issued by The Institute, upon request.

Course Text:

All necessary study material is provided online by the instructor. Helpful additional study material can be found in the book Applying the Rasch Model, 2nd edition (Bond & Fox, 2007, Taylor & Francis/Lawrence Erlbaum Associates).


You will need to be able to do analysis in Rasch software of your choosing. You may also need to be able to import your Rasch measurement results into statistical software to analyze or graph measures, errors, or fit statistics by groups. Free and paid Rasch software is listed at www.rasch.org/software.htm

Rasch Applications, Part 2: Clinical Assessment, Survey Research, and Educational Measurement

To be scheduled.

Course Fee: $589