In-conference workshop: Do your first Item Response Theory analysis

Facilitated by
Associate Professor Carlos Collares
Assessment Specialist at Maastricht University, School of Health Professions Education

Carlos F. Collares is a medical doctor, specialized in Occupational Medicine, with a master degree and a Ph.D. in Psychology. He holds a dual appointment at Maastricht University and the European Board of Medical Assessors (EBMA). Dr. Collares is a professional specialized in assessment in healthcare professions education who coordinates the implementation of a computerized adaptive international progress testing consortium for EBMA, which uses item response theory modelling. His practical work has provided useful information for stakeholders responsible for quality management and faculty development in many medical schools worldwide, enabling them to strategically make use of longitudinal assessments as a tool to foster student learning. His interests are focused on the use of psychometrics and data science in the creation of personalized assessment tools and customized learning experiences.

Workshop description

This workshop will provide information on the fundamental concepts of item response theory (IRT), its advantages and potential pitfalls. The participants will also have the opportunity to make their first IRT analysis and interpret their results. A selection of papers that have applied IRT in the health care professions education will be made available to the participants.

Workshop format

Participants will be invited to use an online voting tool for interaction (Mentimeter) and will be invited to perform an IRT analysis with data from a knowledge test and from a questionnaire. Participants are requested to bring their own laptop for the exercises involving IRT analyses. There is no need to pre-install any software.


At the end of the workshop, participants are expected to:

  • understand the foundations or IRT and recognize its potential applications and
  • run IRT analyses independently and adequately interpret their results.

Workshop Outcomes

Participants will get access to the PowerPoint slides  and a selection of IRT papers digitally. Participants are expected to be able to develop knowledge tests for students of the health professions with a higher degree of validity and reliability, with potential benefits to patient safety.

Additional information –

  • Participants are requested to bring their own laptop
  • Maximum number of participants: 20

email Carlos Collares: