Using Rasch Analysis for Determining the Cut Score of a Computer Science Placement Exam

April 9, 2021


Steven McGee

The Learning Partnership

Everett Smith

EVS Psychometric Services

Andrew M. Rasmussen

Chicago Public School

Jeremy Gubman

Chicago Public Schools

A key strategy for broadening computer science participation in the Chicago Public Schools has been the enactment of a yearlong computer science course as a high school graduation requirement. The Exploring Computer Science (ECS) curriculum and professional development program serves as a core foundation for supporting policy enactment. However, students with prior background in computer science might find the course repetitive. This paper reports on district efforts to develop a placement exam for students to take an advanced computer science course in lieu of the introductory computer science course. The placement exam tasks were modeled after the ECS exam tasks but with higher difficulty. We used Rasch modeling to equate the placement exam tasks to the ECS exams and to establish a cut score for passing the placement exam.

Suggested Citation

McGee, S., Smith, E., Rasmussen, A. M., and Gubman, J. (2021, April 8-12). Using Rasch analysis for determining the cut score of a computer science placement exam [Paper presentation]. American Educational Research Association, online.

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