(2) Essay Topic Difficulty in Relation to Scoring Models

Patricia Dovell
University of Florida

Dianne Buhr
University of Florida

Abstract: This study examined the difficulty level of essay topics used in large-scale writing assessment in relation to three different scoring models and sought to identify the effects each model would have on passing rates. Models of direct assessment and combined scores produced essentially equivalent pass/fail decisions. A regression model was found to be inappropriate for making decisions about individual students because of the essay scores’ discrete scale. Results showed that each model has its advantages depending upon the purpose of the assessment and the nature of the data.

Citation: Dovell, P., & Buhr, D. (1986). Essay topic difficulty in relation to scoring models. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 28(1), 41-62.

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