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Using the LLTM to evaluate an item-generating system for reading comprehension

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Author(s): PHILIPP SONNLEITNER

Journal: Psychology Science Quarterly
ISSN 1866-6140

Volume: 50;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 345;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: Rasch model | LLTM | item-generating rules | reading comprehension

ABSTRACT
Due to inconclusive findings concerning the components responsible for the difficulty of reading comprehension items, this paper attempts to set up an item-generating system using hypothesis-driven modeling of item complexity applying Fischer’s (1973) linear logistic test model (LLTM) to a German reading comprehension test. This approach guarantees an evaluation of the postulated item-generating system; moreover construct validity of the administered test is investigated. Previous findings in this field are considered; additionally, some text features are introduced to this debate and their impact on item difficulty is discussed. Results once more show a strong influence of formal components (e.g. the number of presented response options in a multiple-choice-format), but also indicate how this effect can be minimized.
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