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J Appl Meas. 2016;17(2):142-165.

Examining the Psychometric Quality of Multiple-Choice Assessment Items using Mokken Scale Analysis.

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Stefanie A. Wind, University of Alabama, College of Education, Department of Educational Research, Box 870231, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA,


The concept of invariant measurement is typically associated with Rasch measurement theory (Engelhard, 2013). Concerned with the appropriateness of the parametric transformation upon which the Rasch model is based, Mokken (1971) proposed a nonparametric procedure for evaluating the quality of social science measurement that is theoretically and empirically related to the Rasch model. Mokken's nonparametric procedure can be used to evaluate the quality of dichotomous and polytomous items in terms of the requirements for invariant measurement. Despite these potential benefits, the use of Mokken scaling to examine the properties of multiple-choice (MC) items in education has not yet been fully explored. A nonparametric approach to evaluating MC items is promising in that this approach facilitates the evaluation of assessments in terms of invariant measurement without imposing potentially inappropriate transformations. Using Rasch-based indices of measurement quality as a frame of reference, data from an eighth-grade physical science assessment are used to illustrate and explore Mokken-based techniques for evaluating the quality of MC items. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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