Can We Learn From Student Mistakes in a Formative, Reading Comprehension Assessment?

Bowen Liu, Patrick C. Kennedy, Ben Seipel, Sarah E. Carlson, Gina Biancarosa, Mark L. Davison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This article describes an ongoing project to develop a formative, inferential reading comprehension assessment of causal story comprehension. It has three features to enhance classroom use: equated scale scores for progress monitoring within and across grades, a scale score to distinguish among low-scoring students based on patterns of mistakes, and a reading efficiency index. Instead of two response types for each multiple-choice item, correct and incorrect, each item has three response types: correct and two incorrect response types. Prior results on reliability, convergent and discriminant validity, and predictive utility of mistake subscores are briefly described. The three-response-type structure of items required rethinking the item response theory (IRT) modeling. IRT-modeling results are presented, and implications for formative assessments and instructional use are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-835
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Educational Measurement
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305A140185 to the University of Oregon. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the National Council on Measurement in Education


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