Educational Implications of Comparing Unidimensional and Multidimensional Item Response Theories


  • Şeyma Erbay Mermer



student creativity, multiple intelligences, learning kits


This study aims to compare item and individual parameters of dichotomously scored multidimensional constructs estimated based on unidimensional and multidimensional Item Response Theory (IRT) under different conditions of sample size, interdimensional correlation and number of dimensions particularly emphasizing its implications in educational settings. This research, conducted with simulations and addresses fundamental aspects relevant to educational assessment methodologies. The standard errors of the item and individual parameters estimated according to both models were evaluated by the mean of the error squares. The results of the study indicate that there is significant difference between the errors of the item parameters obtained from the unidimensional and multidimensional IRT in the cases of two-dimensional data structures and high interdimensional correlations emphasizing the relevance of multidimensionality in educational assessment practices. Standard errors for item parameters decreased as the sample size increased. When the standard errors arising from student ability parameters were analyzed, it was observed that multidimensional IRT estimated with lower errors for all conditions. As a result of the study, it is established that multidimensional IRT provides more accurate results in the analysis of multidimensional constructs, especially in the estimation of individual parameters and in making decisions about individuals in educational contexts. Therefore, it is recommended that multidimensional models should be used for student ability estimation in large-scale educational examinations for fostering a more comprehensive understanding of students' capabilities in diverse educational contexts.


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How to Cite

Erbay Mermer, Şeyma. (2024). Educational Implications of Comparing Unidimensional and Multidimensional Item Response Theories . Pegem Journal of Education and Instruction, 14(3), 103–116.