8th European Variety in University Chemistry Education

Bedgood, D. (Speaker), Guisard, Y. (Speaker), Damien Laird (Speaker), Barril, C. (Speaker), Julia Howitt (Speaker), Prenzler, P. (Speaker), Ryan, D. (Speaker), Schwarz, L. (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventPublic lecture/debate/seminar/presentationIndustry


Were students better in the old days? Rasch analysis of three first approaches to university chemistry and a model for benchmarking between universities

Rasch Analysis is a statistical and probabilistic analysis tool being used to examine chemistry exams across subjects, years, student courses and gender, and across universities. Rasch analysis converts the raw student performance on an exam - representing “ability” - and the performance of exam questions - representing “difficulty” - into a unified scale of measurement called “logit”. It therefore allows the academic to compare the performance of students versus that of the questions using a single understanding of “performance”. Rasch Analysis allows the academic to compare the student versus question performance using a single understanding of “performance” independent of cohort size. As to date there have been few applications of Rasch analysis to the examination of university chemistry assessments. This talk reports on how this method is being used – for instance in:

validation of exams; examination of topic coverage/question difficulty across and between four different first year chemistry classes; examination of student performance from a demographic perspective such as course and gender; changes in student and exam performance over time; comparisons of student and exam performance between two Australian Universities.

Such comparisons between universities could be used to benchmark exams, exam questions, subjects (and perhaps student abilities) between universities.

Period17 Jul 2019
Event typeConference
LocationTuscany, Italy