FACILITY

Psychometric Laboratory

Introduction

Since 2007, the Psychometric Laboratory at UWA has specialised in the study and application of the Rasch class of psychometric models of measurement. This is based on Professor David Andrich’s seminal theoretical and empirical work in developing and elaborating Rasch’s measurement theory. The Laboratory is internationally recognised for its expertise in psychometrics.

Based at the UWA Medical School, the Psychometric Laboratory undertakes research and development for application to the broad area of measurement and assessment in education, social and medical sciences which can include psychology, health and marketing and provides a range of support services, including research, teaching, consultancy and contract work.

Research Projects

The Psychometric Laboratory, in partnership with The University of Plymouth, is working on a project involving psychometric analysis and interpretation of outcome assessment data. This project involves the analysis of responses to patient reported outcome assessments in a clinical population with multiple sclerosis. The aim of the project is to assess patients’ own assessment of their condition over time in response to treatment.

The Psychometric Laboratory, is working with State Department of Education (WA) to monitor the growth of students from kindergarten onwards on a quantitative scale for both literacy and numeracy. This project aims to identify at risk students as early as possible in their schooling. 

 

Rasch psychometric models

Rasch psychometric models, also known as Rasch models for measurement, are named after the late Danish mathematician and statistician Georg Rasch, who spent seven months at the University of Western Australia as a Visiting Professor in 1974.

Rasch psychometric models have generated a great deal of research at both theoretical and epistemological levels, and in operational and applied settings. 

The Rasch class of models are used in large-scale national and international assessment programs, to not only analyse test data, but to inform the design and construction of test items and their administration. In the field of health and medical sciences, Rasch models are used to study outcomes of rehabilitation. 

The Psychometric Laboratory contributes to research in all areas of Rasch models for measurement, in particular epistemological and applied research, and software development and has been a pioneer in the field.  

Courses and texts 

The Psychometric Laboratory offers two online courses for professional development in Rasch measurement theory throughout the year: Introduction to Classical and Rasch Measurement Theories and Advanced Course in Rasch Measurement Theory. The Psychometric Laboratory also offers face-to-face condensed workshops of the same material.

To register for the online courses see the UWA PLUS Micro-credential website or contact natalie.carmody@uwa.edu.au for more information.  

See our most recent publication A Course in Rasch Measurement Theory: Measuring in the Educational, Social and Health Sciences by David Andrich and Ida Marais.

coursebook 

Highlights 

To date, the work of the Psychometric Laboratory in the field of measurement in education has impacted the quality of assessment methods used in state and national testing programs across Australia. One example of this work is the analysis of high profile NAPLAN data for the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). The work of the Psychometric Laboratory has also impacted education measurement practices internationally, backed by regular international conferences that have attracted delegates from across the globe as well as nationally. 

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David Andrich

Director and Senior Honorary Research Fellow

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Ida Marais

Senior Research Fellow

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Sonia Sappl

Research Assistant

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Natalie Carmody

Administrative Officer

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