The Measurement of Student Achievement in Music Using a Rasch Measurement Model

Document Type

Journal Article


Australian Council for Educational Research


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences


School of Education




This article was originally published as: Waugh, R. F., & Pascoe, B. (2001). The measurement of student achievement in music using a rasch measurement model. Australian Journal of Education, 45(1), 90-110.


This paper explains the making of an objective measure of music achievement for students in Western Australian government schools. Forty-five music achievement tasks were developed to reflect exemplary classroom practice for three levels of music achievement. The tasks included analysis and process type questions relating to listening and appreciating, identifying music aspects and performance, with some linked tasks across levels, to enable the tasks (items) for the three levels to be calibrated on the same continuum. The sample consisted of students from Years 3, 7, and 10. The tasks were placed onto a continuum of student achievement which was matched to a standards framework based on Student outcome statements: The Arts. A Rasch measurement model was used to create a music achievement scale and transform student raw scores into achievement estimates and item difficulties on the same scale, with a computer program called RUMM.

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