Malcolm Hayes

My main interest is the application of Rasch and IRT models in the analysis of test data, and my work has been focused around but not limited to mathematics and English tests aimed at Key Stages 2 and 3 of the National Curriculum. Within this area there are several test designs that are or have been in operation and it is a considerable challenge to ensure that such tests are fair, valid and reliable. In addition, the tests are used as accountability measures for teachers, schools, Local Authorities and even the government. It is therefore vital that level thresholds are set in such a way as to ensure the maintenance of standards over time.

There is considerable literature surrounding the calibration, linking and equating of parallel forms of tests with the same structure but rather less about more complex situations such as tiering as was used with the Key Stage 3 mathematics and science tests. The proposed Single Level tests also create a situation where both vertical (across levels) and horizontal (across years) equating would be a desired outcome.

My D.Phil research investigates methods of optimising or equating models for such complex testing designs.

College: St Anne’s