Constructing and Validating a Q-Matrix for Cognitive Diagnostic Analyses of a Reading Test

Hongli Li, Hoi K. Suen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Cognitive diagnostic analyses have been advocated as methods that allow an assessment to function as a formative assessment to inform instruction. To use this approach, it is necessary to first identify the skills required for each item in the test, known as a Q-matrix. However, because the construct being tested and the underlying cognitive processes associated with it are usually not fully understood, establishing a Q-matrix, especially for an existing test, is a challenging task. This study reports the process of constructing and validating a Q-matrix for the reading comprehension section of the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB). An initial Q-matrix was first generated based on evidence gathered from related literature, students' think-aloud protocols, and expert ratings. This initial Q-matrix was then validated empirically by applying the fusion model to a large MELAB data set. A well-supported Q-matrix was produced for potential future diagnostic applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalEducational Assessment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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