Authors: Brian F. French; W. Holmes Finch; Bruce Randel; Brian Hand; Chad M. Gotch
Addresses: Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling Psychology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, 99164, USA ' Department of Educational Psychology, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306, USA ' Century Analytics, Inc., 7224 South Garfield Street, Centennial, CO 80122, USA ' College of Education, University of Iowa, Teaching and Learning, N259 Lindquist Center, Iowa City, IA, 52240, USA ' Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling Psychology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, 99164, USA
Abstract: Rigorous evidence supporting the effectiveness of interventions is needed to inform teaching practice and improve educational outcomes. In many instances, gathering such evidence includes cluster randomised control trials estimating the effectiveness of educational treatments. Such studies often require the collection of data from large samples in order to accurately detect intervention effects. A failure to detect these effects could be due to the inability of the intervention to produce effects or due to a lack of measurement sensitivity to the intervention itself. The current study outlines a two-stage method for evaluating measurement sensitivity by first conducting content analysis to align items with hypothesised intervention effects, followed by the use of differential item functioning analyses to detect intervention effects more precisely, and thereby test for measurement sensitivity. Increasing measurement sensitivity could lead to increased effect sizes, increased statistical power, reduced sample sizes and reduced costs.
Keywords: measurement sensitivity; randomised control trials; measurement invariance; differential item functioning; DIF; educational research; teaching practice; educational outcomes; content analysis; intervention effects.
International Journal of Quantitative Research in Education, 2016 Vol.3 No.1/2, pp.79 - 93
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