Differential item functioning of 2010 junior secondary school certificate mathematics examination in Southern Educational zone of Cross River State, Nigeria

Differential item functioning of 2010 junior secondary school certificate mathematics examination in Southern Educational zone of Cross River State, Nigeria

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Differential item functioning of 2010 junior secondary school certificate mathematics examination in Southern Educational zone of Cross River State, Nigeria

The research is aimed at finding out whether the 2010 junior secondary certificate examination (JSSCE) in mathematics exhibits gender, school location and school ownership differential item functioning (DIF) in the Southern Educational zone of Cross River State. Three hypotheses were formulated for the study. A sample of 1,833 candidates was selected from a population of 11,811 candidates who sat for the examination in 2010. The instrument for the study was the 60 multiple- choice JSS three mathematics items. Two DIF detection methods were used to identify items that exhibited DIF in 2010 JSSCE in mathematics. The findings showed that there was no significant gender differential item functioning as none of the detection method identified items that function differentially between males and females. There was a significant school location differential item functioning as the Mantel-Haenszel Statistics detected two items that function differentially against urban students while the Scheuneman chi-square (SSX2) detected one item that function differentially against urban students. Also, there was a significant school ownership differential item functioning as the Mantel-Haenszel statistics identified two items that did not favour public school students. On the other hand, the Scheuneman chi-square (SSX2) did not flagged any item as functioning differentially between public and private school students. It was concluded that some items in a test used locally could exhibit significant DIF and it was recommended that DIF studies should be conducted by test developers on their test so that the items exhibiting Differential Item Functioning (DIF) could be revised or eliminated so that fairness can be enhanced.Keywords: Differential item functioning, Educational Zone, Junior secondary certificate examination, Mathematics, Nigeria

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