AlphaPlus - Supporting awarding organisations

Training services for awarding organisation teams

Introduction to item response theory

Level:  Introductory

Duration:  4 hours

Description:  Many large-scale assessment programmes around the world use item response theory (IRT) for test performance management.

This approach is often more than a statistical analysis method - it is a complete approach for designing tests and understanding how they work with candidates. It is particularly valuable in situations where there are various versions of tests that need to have results interpreted on a common scale (for example parallel forms, or tests used from year to year).

This session will give attendees an introduction to several such statistics; explaining their bases in test theory and giving practical illustrations of how they are used.

In this session, we will look at why IRT is necessary, the scenarios where it brings value, and how it can be used to calibrate items and tests. The session will also investigate IRT’s limitations, and how professionals can use it in a defensible manner.

Topics covered:

  • the item response function
  • IRT models
  • analysis of model fit
  • a comparison of classical and item response theories
  • scoring

Typical Task – practical use of IRT for your assessments.


For more information about our AO training service, please contact Giilian Whitehouse:

Email Gillian

Phone: 07881 361718

Sample training materials

We recognise that many of our courses deal with complex topics which can take time to understand. All our delegates receive a complete training pack comprising the materials covered, a handbook covering the subject, copies of the exercises, and a targeted reading list for further study.

We've uploaded some of our training materials for you to view. Please click on the link below to access a zip file of these PDFs:

  • Vocational qualification development guidance
  • Vocational qualification development presentation
  • Vocational qualification development reading list

Download sample training materials