Automating Simulation Research for Item Response Theory using R

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Sunbok Lee Youn-Jeng Choi Allan S. Cohen


A simulation study is a useful tool in examining how validly item response theory (IRT) models can be applied in various settings. Typically, a large number of replications are required to obtain the desired precision. However, many standard software packages in IRT, such as MULTILOG and BILOG, are not well suited for a simulation study requiring a large number of replications because they were developed as a stand-alone software package that is best suited for a single run. This article demonstrated how built-in R functions can be used to automate the simulation study using the stand-alone software packages in IRT. For a demonstration purpose, MULTILOG was used in the example codes in the appendices, but the overall framework of a simulation study and the built-in R functions used in this article can be applied for a simulation study using other stand-alone software packages as well.

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How to Cite
Lee, S., Choi, Y.-J., & Cohen, A. (2018). Automating Simulation Research for Item Response Theory using R. International Journal of Assessment Tools in Education, 5(4), 682-700. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Allan S. Cohen, University of Georgia

Department of Educational Psychology


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