NFER celebrates inaugural ‘Item Response Theory and Assessment Week’

News Release

Monday 25 March 2019

NFER’s Centre for Statistics and Centre for Assessment are hosting their first ever ‘Item Response Theory (IRT) and Assessment Week’ for staff across the organisation from Monday 25 March. 

Item response Theory (IRT) is a way to analyse responses to tests or questionnaires with the goal of improving measurement accuracy and reliability. IRT underpins many of the areas of focus for the Foundation including further development in areas such as adaptive testing, measuring progress across primary school and in developing scales to measure skills and personality traits.

As well as sessions from fellow NFER colleagues, there will be a number of expert guest speakers including Michela Gnaldi and Simone Del Sarto from the University of Perugia, Italy, Adrian Husbands, a consultant psychometrician, and Stefan Cano, the chief social scientific officer of Modus Outcomes.

The purpose of ‘Item Response Theory and Assessment Week’ is for NFER’s expert psychometricians, statisticians, researchers and assessment experts to come together to share and collectively develop their knowledge and expertise in this core field.

(L-R) Head of Statistics Simon Rutt, Michela Gnaldi and Simone Del Sarto from the University of Perugia, Italy, and Lead Psychometrician Louise Benson. 

Simon Rutt, Head of Statistics at NFER said: “We are committed to the learning and development of our staff for personal growth and to meet the needs of the business. Through working with our international colleagues as well as our own experts, we hope the insights and expertise gained from this week will help to build knowledge and generate even stronger evidence about education.”

Liz Twist, Head of Assessment at NFER said: “Assessment plays an integral role in education, both in terms of learning and accountability. It is also an area of significant expertise at NFER which is central to many of our large-scale projects as well as our own portfolio of educational resources. This week provides a great opportunity for us to share and cultivate knowledge among colleagues and we hope they will benefit from the valuable insights from our speakers.”

You can hear more from the Centre of Statistics next month as we support ‘Maths and Statisticians Awareness Month’. 

To keep up to date with activities from NFER’s ‘Item Response Theory and Assessment Week’ follow us on Twitter @TheNFER.