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Rasch modeling to drive instruction of content area concepts and vocabulary: An example from secondary economics instruction with special needs students.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Cynthia B. Leung

W. Steve Lang

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This study explores the use of Rasch modeling to assess the appropriateness of using unique instructional activities for classroom learning of content vocabulary and concepts. Through a case study of secondary students’ learning economics vocabulary from a multimedia instructional activity, the authors identify the difficulty level of key vocabulary items after instruction and estimate the word learning ability of individual students. A teacher of interdisciplinary reading/social studies at an American alternative school for learning and socially challenged adolescents integrated a technology activity into an economics unit. Students in all of his classes created PowerPoint slides for 16 target words and presented them to their peers. Vocabulary knowledge was assessed after the presentations with two teacher-created definition assessments: a matching and a free recall test. Rasch analysis of individual word scores showed creating PowerPoints resulted in many of the words becoming easier, but some of the words remained difficult even after instruction. These vocabulary words and the concepts they refer to may require different instructional strategies for optimum student learning.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.