## Wednesday, May 22, 2013

### Visual Education Statistics - Basic Relationships

11
The first ten posts in this series developed a visual education statistics (VES) engine that relates six statistics on one Excel spreadsheet. This post explores their relationships by switching right and wrong marks (1 and 0) in matched pairs and in unmatched single switches at increasing distances from the diagonal equator.

A Guttman table is an extreme distribution with each student receiving a different score. Each item also has a different difficulty. Item discrimination is set at the maximum. There is only one possible distribution for this 21 student by 20 item test (Table 17). (The Excel .xlsm or .xls version is available from Table17@nine-patch.com.)

The squared student score deviations are at zero at the test score mean and at a maximum (100) at the extremes. The opposite is the case for item sums of squares (SS) with a maximum of 5.24 at the mean of 10.5 and a minimum of 0.95 at the extremes. This makes sense as there is greater variation between student score extremes and less within item difficulty extremes (Table 17).

The standard deviation (SD) of student scores decreased (6.205 to 6.050) as matched pair switching progressed from the mean to the extreme in a linear manner (Chart 28). This makes sense as the student score deviations normally increase at the extremes. Switching marks reduced these extremes.

Test reliability also fell as matched pair switching progressed from the mean to the extreme in a linear manner (Chart 29). This makes sense as the student score N MEAN SS decreased as the switching progressed from the mean to the extreme (36.381 to 34.857 or 1.524) and as the item N MEAN SS only decreased (-3.492 to -3.574 or 0.082).

The standard error of measurement (SEM) increased linearly (1.354 to 1.423) as the switching progressed from the mean to the extreme (Chart 30). This too makes sense as a decrease in test reliability is related to an increase in the SEM.

Item discrimination (KR20 and Pearson r) decreased in a non-linear manner (Chart 31) as the switching progressed from the mean to the extreme (from 0.676 to 0.637). This also makes sense as the greater the change from a perfect Guttman table, the lower the item discrimination. Switched marks that are the farthest from the diagonal equator are the most unexpected marks.

A second scan of the Guttman table with an unbalanced single switch of right and wrong produced the same relationships as the balanced switch scan. The spreadsheet (Table 16) needed to be set to three decimal spaces to capture the detail with a minimum of rounding errors (Table 17).

The VES engine is showing three linear relationships (SD, test reliability, and SEM) and one nonlinear relationship (item discrimination). Just one switch of 1 to 0 or 0 to 1 can be detected in all four statistics. I find it interesting that such detail can be captured from a 21 x 20 table.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Free software to help you and your students experience and understand how to break out of traditional-multiple choice (TMC) and into Knowledge and Judgment Scoring (KJS) (tricycle to bicycle):