Detecting Gender Bias through Test Item Analysis

Imagen de Wilson Javier Gonzalez-Espada
PDF versionPDF version
TítuloDetecting Gender Bias through Test Item Analysis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AutoresGonzález-Espada, WJ
JournalPhysics Teacher
Pagination175 - 179
Date Published2009/03/00
ISBN NumberISSN-0031-921X
Palabras claveCollege Science, Females, Gender Bias, Item Analysis, Physical Sciences, Physics, Science Instruction, Test Bias, Test Construction, Test Items, Test Validity

Many physical science and physics instructors might not be trained in pedagogically appropriate test construction methods. This could lead to test items that do not measure what they are intended to measure. A subgroup of these items might show bias against some groups of students. This paper describes how the author became aware of potentially biased items against females in his examinations, which led to the exploration of fundamental issues related to item validity, gender bias, and differential item functioning, or DIF. A brief discussion of DIF in the context of university courses, as well as practical suggestions to detect possible gender-biased items, follows.