A104: Psychometrics in Educational Assessment

A104: Psychometrics in Educational Assessment woman studying at a computer
Date: 31 Jan - 03 Apr 2022 Venue: Online
Type: 9 week online course: 27 CPD hours Fee: £295

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Tom Benton 
A104 explains how we use quantitative methods from psychometrics to improve the quality of educational assessments. Starting from simple statistical concepts, this course provides enough detail so that participants can apply the techniques themselves.
Tom Benton, Principal Research Officer, Cambridge Assessment

A104: Psychometrics in Educational Assessment has been designed to guide you through how to analyse assessment data in order to ensure tests are reliable, valid and fair.

By the end of the nine-week course, you will have learned how to interpret typical analyses and you will have had the opportunity to undertake such analyses for yourself using realistic assessment data.

Participants should be numerate and comfortable interpreting basic statistics such as means, standard deviations and correlations. Participants should also be comfortable using Excel and familiar with the following topics: Validity, Reliability, Fairness, Standards and Comparability (covered in A101: Introducing the Principles of Assessment)

  • Average 3 hours per week over nine weeks
  • Online group course delivered over 9 weeks featuring Monitor/Educator, discussion forum and journal
  • Certification option available

The course introduces a wide range of topics related to psychometrics including:

  • Introducing psychometrics 
  • Reliability of marking 
  • Classical item level data
  • Item response theory
  • Item calibration and item banking

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the fundamental concepts in psychometrics, as applied to educational assessment.
  • Evaluate assessment quality using classical item-level statistics.
  • Understand the features of classical statistics and their limitations.
  • Understand item response theory and how it differs from classical test theory.
  • Define equating and understand how items are calibrated in the applied context of item banking.

Course outline

After providing a broad overview of the kinds of tasks where techniques from psychometrics are used in assessments, the course will cover:

Reliability of marking
Looking at reliability purely from the point of view of reproducibility of marking.
Classical item level data (ILD) 
We'll introduce key terms like facility, discrimination, item characteristic curves and understand how to interpret statistics such as R_rest for judging item quality.
From item level data to test reliability
Defining test reliability and understanding how item level data can tell us about the reliability of a test. 
Item response theory (IRT) in test and item evaluation
We’ll show how the item response theory can build upon the concepts and statistics introduced in earlier weeks. 
Understanding the different definitions of equating and some simple equating techniques.
Item calibration and item banking
We'll learn how anchor items can be used alongside item response theory to calibrate individual items and how this can help us to predict item behaviour in new contexts.
Methods of test construction
We'll look at how we might use psychometrics to construct tests with: optimal reliability, targeted reliability at a particular point in the ability range, and grade boundaries in pre-determined places.

Who should attend?

The course is open to everyone working in the field of educational assessment who wants to learn how to analyse assessment data in order to ensure tests are reliable, valid and fair.

Participants should have some existing familiarity with the topics of validity, reliability, fairness, standards and comparability. Participants should also be comfortable interpreting basic statistics such as means, standard deviations and correlations. (If you are not yet comfortable with these topics, A101: Introducing the Principles of Assessment and/or A103: Introducing Data Literacy may be of interest).

Because the course is online, and learning is done in your own time, it can be completed from anywhere in the world. 

What you will learn

You will learn more about how to analyse assessment data in order to ensure tests are reliable, valid and fair. All participants will learn how to interpret typical analyses. Optional extension activities will give participants the chance to undertake such analyses for themselves using realistic assessment data.

The course covers a wide range of topics related to psychometrics including: introducing psychometrics, reliability of marking, classical item level data, item response theory, and item calibration and item banking. 

How you will learn

A104 is an interactive online course, which means that alongside weekly activities and video content, you'll learn through forum discussions with fellow participants.

How much does it cost?

Online group course delivered over 9 weeks featuring Monitor/Educator, discussion forum and journal - £295 per person.

How to enrol

Bookings are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. We will confirm your place on the course once the payment has been received. Payment can be made by a credit or debit card (not incl. American Express) or by invoice. Please use the booking link above.


Is attendance on the course required 9-5pm for the full 9 weeks? Or can the course content be accessed in your own time?

This online course continues for 9 weeks, but there is no set times that you need to access the course. The weekly tasks can be completed whenever fits in with your existing schedule. We anticipate that you would need to allocate an average of 3 hours per week for study time.

What level of English do I need to be able to complete the course?

The course is delivered in English so participants are required to have sufficient competence in English to participate in the training. All participants should have English language competence comparable to Level B2 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). We recommend a minimum requirement of 5.5 on the International English Language Testing System. Further information may be obtained through the IELTS website.

B2 Vantage or upper intermediate

  • Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation.
  • Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
  • Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

My place on the course is now confirmed, what happens next?

If you are an existing user of our VLE then you can log in with your usual username and password. If you are a new VLE user you will receive an email with joining instructions the Friday before the course starts.

Please let us know if you don’t receive this email by the Saturday prior to the course start date.

The A104 material is available from 5pm (UK time) on Fridays, but the week officially begins on Monday at 12:00 noon (UK time).

What kind of certification is available upon completion of the course?

Statement of Participation (Certificate and digital badge)

  • You must provide evidence of your learning and participation by logging into each of the week’s lessons, completing the activities, marking the activities as completed and posting weekly on the discussion forum.

Certificate of Achievement (Certificate and digital badge)

  • In addition to the above, successful completion of an optional end of course assignment will enable you to claim a Certificate of Achievement.

This course is CPD accredited and earns 27 hours of CPD when the completion criteria are fulfilled.

Both our Statement of Participation and Certificate of Achievement are awarded by Cambridge Assessment and include the CPD accreditation logo and the University of Cambridge’s Board of Executive and Professional Education logo.

Can I have some more details on the end of course assignment?

The purpose of the assignment is to provide you with an opportunity to reflect on the topics covered in the course and to apply your learning in practice to a trial of two assessments. The assignment will allow you to demonstrate that you have understood the course material so that you can interpret the kinds of analyses that have been described in practice. 

Remember, the assignment is optional. However, if you want to claim a Certificate of Achievement, successfully completing the assignment is a requirement. If you choose to complete the assignment, you have four weeks to submit after the course has finished.

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Cambridge Assessment Network has been recognised as a provider of Training Excellence by the Professional Development Consortium and is a trusted source of CPD accredited learning activities.

Find out more

I would recommend this course to my colleagues because it gives a very solid overview of the important statistical and psychometric concepts a practitioner needs to consider when designing tests.

It is designed to allow you to blend theory with practice in a balanced and well paced way. All the examples were relevant and based on real data."

Verónica Floretta 
Assessment Consultant 

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