10th International
Conference on
Teaching Statistics
8 – 13 July 2018
Kyoto, Japan
Contributed paper list

Contributed Paper C179


Examining Distractors in Multiple-Choice Questions for Classroom Assessments: Learning from Psychometrics


Yan Liu (Canada)
Ernest Kwan (Canada)
Amery Wu (Canada)
Minjeong Park (Canada)


Ernest Kwan (Canada)


Psychometric research mainly involves the construction of tests/assessments and the development of techniques to ensure the quality of measurement. However, this field has been focusing more on large-scale tests/assessments. There has been less attention and efforts on classroom assessments. The present study is scoped in a broader goal of bridging psychometric research and classroom assessments. More specifically, we will introduce some psychometric techniques for instructors to examine the distractors in multiple-choice questions, including the most commonly used distractor analysis strategies, including a particular technique, differential option functioning (DOF) based on multinomial logistic regression. DOF is a versatile tool that can help to better understand students’ misconceptions and learning gaps. A demonstration will be provided using an introductory course assessment.