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Unveiling fairness in scoring: a thorough method for precise cutoff score calculation in education assessment

Alireza Akbari (Department of English, Foreign Language Faculty, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran)
Mohsen Shahrokhi (Department of English, Islamic Azad University Sahreza Branch, Shahreza, Iran)

Quality Assurance in Education

ISSN: 0968-4883

Article publication date: 14 June 2024

Issue publication date: 27 June 2024

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to address the need for a robust system to accurately determine a cutoff score by using the Angoff method and leveraging the Rasch infit and outfit statistics of item response theory by detecting and removing misfitting items in a test.

Design/methodology/approach

Researchers in educational evaluation support the use of grades as a complete measure to evaluate students’ overall academic performance. In higher education, determining cutoff scores is crucial for assessing academic progress and achievement. Higher education institutions worldwide set predefined minimal standards of success, sometimes referred to as cutoff thresholds. These thresholds serve as benchmarks for assessing performance quality and determining eligibility for academic credit or advancement.

Findings

The proposed approach combines the Angoff method with Rasch item fit statistics to precisely determine the cutoff score by excluding items that do not fit well (misfitting items) in a test. This methodology holds the potential to enhance the fairness and accuracy of grading practices, ensuring that assessments align with educational objectives and provide meaningful feedback to students.

Originality/value

The value of this research extends to various fields where cutoff scores are used for decision-making purposes. By using Rasch item fit statistics and the Angoff method, practitioners and researchers can enhance the quality and validity of their assessments.

Keywords

Citation

Akbari, A. and Shahrokhi, M. (2024), "Unveiling fairness in scoring: a thorough method for precise cutoff score calculation in education assessment", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 493-509. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAE-12-2023-0208

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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