Indiana University Bloomington

Education Y617
Psychometric Theory

Contact: Dubravka Svetina (
Offered: Fall, 2014
Capacity: 22
Sequence: This is a second measurement course. Y527 (1st) and Y627 (3rd) are part of the sequence
Pre-Requisites: Y502 or any basic (introductory) graduate course in statistics & Y527 course (Educational Assessment and Psychological Measurement) or equivalent
Algebra Required: very little
Calculus Required: No
Contact Person for Authorization: No
Instructor: Dubravka Svetina (in the past, Dr. Ginette Delanshere has taught the course)
Days Per Week Offered: 1 per week; computer lab 1 hour separate (starting in Spring 2013)
Recommended follow-up classes: Y627 - advanced measurement theory
Syllabus: No Syllabus Avaliable
Keywords: item response theory; model fit; assessing assumptions; classical test theory and reliability
Description: The purpose of this course is to learn about psychometric theories including Classical Test Theory (CTT) and Item Response Theory (IRT). The following topics are generally addressed: (1) the concepts of reliability (and validity) and the assumptions on which they rest in the context of educational and psychological measurement, (2) the concepts of person and item parameter estimates, (3) the mathematical models underlying these concepts and the foundations of test theory, (4) the application of these concepts to problems of measurement, and (5) the use of specialized measurement software for data analysis.
Books: Embretson, S. E. & Reise, S. P. (2000). Item Response Theory for Psychologists. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Many articles and chapters are also assigned as appropriate.
Substantive Orientation: social sciences
Statistical Orientation: N/A
Applied/Theoretical: Some topics are more theoretical (e.g., CTT reliability, IRT), while others are more applied (examining how to conduct IRT analysis)
Software: R
How Software is Used: programming and data analysis
Problem Sets: Yes, they involve interpretation of analyses and concepts learned in class
Data Analysis: Yes, as part of homework and class project
Presentation: Yes, class presentation on IRT project; proposal (short paper also due)
Exams: Yes, generally one take home midterm