Transforming Educational Assessment: NDOE’s Psychometrics Workshop in Chuuk

NDOE Press – In a significant step towards improving educational assessments, a workshop was held in Chuuk from July 1-5, 2024, at the L5 Hotel. The event aimed to bolster participants’ understanding and skills in psychometric analysis, with a particular focus on Item Response Theory (IRT). Conducted by Adrian Alamu from the Education and Research Programme under SPC EQAP, the workshop brought together educators and specialists from Chuuk DOE, Pohnpei DOE, Yap DOE, and the National Department of Education, aiming to enhance their capabilities in assessing abilities, attitudes, and other psychometric properties relevant to educational assessment. Unfortunately, representatives from Kosrae were unable to attend.

The workshop commenced with an orientation session where the objectives and structure of the program were outlined. Participants were introduced to the ConQuest software, and the initial sessions covered its basic functionalities and navigation to ensure all attendees had a foundational understanding before delving into practical applications.

Engagement in hands-on sessions with ConQuest was a key component, focusing on the analysis of NMCT demo data. Facilitators guided attendees through the processes of uploading, cleaning, and analyzing datasets to extract psychometric insights. Discussions centered on applying IRT models to understand item difficulty, discrimination, and response patterns, with the aim of enhancing the validity and reliability of educational assessments.

The workshop also delved into advanced applications of ConQuest in educational assessment. Topics covered included modeling student abilities based on test performance, exploring factors influencing test outcomes (such as attitudes and engagement), and conducting differential item functioning (DIF) analyses to ensure fairness and equity in testing practices. Participants engaged in case studies and group exercises, applying theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios.

Practical workshops were a highlight, with participants working collaboratively to analyze more complex NMCT datasets. These sessions encouraged peer learning and problem-solving, fostering a deeper understanding of ConQuest’s capabilities in psychometric research. Participants gained proficiency in generating reports, interpreting results, and making data-driven recommendations for educational improvement.

The final day of the workshop was dedicated to synthesizing the learnings from the week. Participants reviewed key concepts, addressed remaining questions, and discussed potential applications of their newfound skills within their respective educational contexts. Certificates were awarded to acknowledge completion of the workshop and proficiency in using ConQuest for psychometric analysis. The Chuuk Department of Education hosted a dinner to celebrate the week’s hard work and accomplishments.

Overall, the psychometric workshop in Chuuk provided a comprehensive and enriching experience for those involved in educational assessment and research. Through hands-on sessions using ConQuest, attendees gained practical skills in analyzing NMCT demo data to assess educational outcomes, identify strengths and areas for improvement, and ensure the validity and reliability of assessments. The workshop not only enhanced technical proficiency but also fostered collaboration among educators and specialists, paving the way for more effective educational practices.