id: 06655892
dt: j
an:
au: Engelbrecht, Johann; Mwambakana, Jeanine
ti: Validity and diagnostic attributes of a mathematics Olympiad for junior
high school contestants.
so: Afr. J. Res. Math. Sci. Technol. Educ. 20, No. 2, 175-188 (2016).
py: 2016
pu: Taylor \& Francis (Routledge), Abingdon, Oxfordshire
la: EN
cc: D50 B60
ut:
ci:
li: doi:10.1080/18117295.2016.1190211
ab: Summary: The purpose of mathematics competitions, and in our case the South
African Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO), is to promote problem solving
skills and strategies, to generate interest and enthusiasm for
mathematics and to identify the most talented mathematical minds. SAMO
is organised in two divisions ‒ a junior and a senior division ‒
over three rounds. We analysed the results of the junior second round
over seven years, 2006‒2012. Based on the literature, a mathematical
content framework was developed, dividing the mathematical content into
seven broad content areas. In this paper we investigate the face
validity, diagnostic attributes and predictive criterion validity of
mathematics Olympiad question papers over the period by focussing on
the frequency of content area occurrence in the different items. We
also look at the performance of contestants in the different content
areas as a broad diagnosis. Lastly we investigate the item performance,
comparing the expected performance by the problem committee of experts
setting the question papers and the actual performance of contestants.
Topics such as numbers, algebra, patterns and functions, measurement,
applications, modelling and logic were used abundantly whereas (quite
surprisingly) there were few items on graphs, decimal fractions,
spatial logic and vertices and edges of polygons, indicating that the
face validity can be improved. Contestants performed best in items on
algebra and weakest in items on statistics. The ability of the problem
committee to anticipate student item performance varied considerably
and was significantly worse in 2012 than in 2006, indicating better
predictive criterion validity in 2006.
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