Exploring Demographic and Cultural Differences in a National Professional Practice Licensing Exam
Track: Test Development and Administration
Ensuring items are free of bias is an important consideration when developing questions and scoring examination forms. In licensing contexts where large numbers of internationally educated applicants are assessed using high-stakes examinations it is important to not only conduct DIF studies on traditionally investigated, but also on regional and cultural group differences. This e-poster will share results from the National Professional Practice Examination (NPPE), a requirement for engineering and geoscience licensure used by twelve jurisdictions in Canada, assessing knowledge of professional practice, ethics law, discipline, and regulation. In addition to examining DIF results for gender, age, and specialty area, group differences related to country of post-secondary education and country of birth were examined. DIF results were compared to blueprint areas and cultural dimensions reflected in the exam content to determine whether biases were evident which could have impacts on fairness for internationally educated licensing applicants. Implications of the results in terms of item development, item banking, test development, and licensing processes will be shared.