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Summer school on Rasch scales: Construction & measurement

The third summer school session focusing on the Rasch scales was held in September of 2011, and included handouts and test software

By Alexandra Kibbe and Siegmar Otto

Because of the success of the last two preconference summer schools, a third was organized equally successfully by Antal Hans and Caroline Duvier and hosted by the Eindhoven University of Technology. It was scheduled prior to the 9th Biennial Conference on Environmental Psychology on September 24-25, 2011.

The summer school was designed to give students a better understanding of Rasch models and to train them to conduct Rasch model tests themselves. Antal Haans and Florian Kaiser, two Rasch experts, talked about measurement and Rasch modeling during the two days. Their spirit also infected the 11 students, who keenly advanced their expertise. In hands-on tutorials we practiced the new knowledge through working with different software such as Quest, Winsteps, and Facets. Besides the lectures it was inspiring to talk to other students and researcher and to expand the Rasch modeling network.

The summer school was well-organized and extensive course material, such as handouts and test software, was provided. An informal dinner added to the friendly atmosphere which the hosts created. We all felt most welcome and got new ideas for our further research.

Students concordantly expressed that it would be great to do more workshops like this and get further information about polytomous data analyses as well as other software like ConQuest. By reason that Rasch models are only marginally mentioned in most psychology method courses, further workshops would be a great chance to disseminate Rasch model tests to more psychology students and researchers alike. Also, conference participants of the 9th Biennial Conference on Environmental Psychology, who heard of the summer school firsthand from some of the students, obviously showed interest in such courses.

The next PhD Summer School should be organized prior to the 10th Biennial Conference on Environmental Psychology at the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg. Offering different kinds of workshops with theoretical as well as methodological topics may address even more PhD students and would be a good opportunity to support young academics and the network of Environmental Psychology PhDs.