A Rasch Measurement Analysis of University Students' Receptivity to Peers With Disabilities

Document Type

Conference Proceeding




Education and Arts






This article was originally published as: Biswas, M., & Waugh, R. F. (2008). A Rasch measurement analysis of university students' receptivity to peers with disabilities. Proceedings of 2007 AARE International Educational Research Conference. Fremantle, Western Australia. AARE. Original article available here


The study investigated university students’ receptivity to peers with disabilities at two universities in Perth, Western Australia (Edith Cowan University and the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle), and two universities in India (The University of Kolkata, previously Calcutta, and the University of Jadavpur). Data were collected via a 60 item questionnaire (N=996) based on six aspects supporting receptivity to peers with disabilities: Academic, Interactive, Social, Personal, Professional and Supportive. The final questionnaire was composed of 30 stem-items each answered in two perspectives: (1) an ideal self-view (What I think I should do) and (2) their self-reported behaviour (what I actually do), making a total of 60 items. The questionnaire data were analysed with a Rasch computer program (RUMM 2020) in order to create a linear scale of University Students’ Receptivity of Peers with Disabilities so that valid inferences could be made from the scale data. Four main inferences were drawn from the Raschcreated linear scale of Receptivity to Peers with Disabilities. One is that the ideal self-views (attitudes) are easier than the actual self-views (behaviours), for all items where both perspectives fit the measurement model. Two is that the students do make an effort to appreciate and recognise academic and non-academic achievements of peers with disabilities at university but find it moderately hard to do so. Three is that the students found it very hard to involve themselves in promoting optimal participation of peers with disabilities in quality higher education. Four is that Receptivity to Peers with Disabilities is significantly higher at the Universities of Calcutta and Jadavpur in India than at Edith Cowan University and the University of Notre Dame in Western Australia, and Receptivity is significantly higher at the University of Notre dame than at Edith Cowan University. The analysis helped to establish links between attitudes and behaviour.