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Alternate destinies for survey items destined for the Island of Misfit Toys: An analysis of teachers’ perceptions of NAPLAN

Harbaugh, A.G. and Thompson, G. (2013) Alternate destinies for survey items destined for the Island of Misfit Toys: An analysis of teachers’ perceptions of NAPLAN. In: Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) 2013, 1 - 5 December 2013, Adelaide, South Australia



This is a methodological paper describing when and how manifest items dropped from a latent construct measurement model (e.g., factor analysis) can be retained for additional analysis. Presented are protocols for assessment for retention in the measurement model, evaluation of dropped items as potential items separate from the latent construct, and post hoc analyses that can be conducted using all retained (manifest or latent) variables. The protocols are then applied to data relating to the impact of the NAPLAN test. The variables examined are teachers’ achievement goal orientations and teachers’ perceptions of the impact of the test on curriculum and pedagogy. It is suggested that five attributes be considered before retaining dropped manifest items for additional analyses. (1) Items can be retained when employed in service of an established or hypothesized theoretical model. (2) Items should only be retained if sufficient variance is present in the data set. (3) Items can be retained when they provide a rational segregation of the data set into subsamples (e.g., a consensus measure). (4) The value of retaining items can be assessed using latent class analysis or latent mean analysis. (5) Items should be retained only when post hoc analyses with these items produced significant and substantive results. These suggested exploratory strategies are presented so that other researchers using survey instruments might explore their data in similar and more innovative ways. Finally, suggestions for future use are provided.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
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