A diagnostic assessment to middle school students' proportional reasoning
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This study investigated Turkish middle school students' proportional reasoning and provided a diagnostic assessment of their strengths and weaknesses on the ratio and proportion concepts. A proportional reasoning test with 22 multiple-choice items was developed from the context of the log-linear cognitive diagnosis model. The test was developed around four core cognitive skills (attributes) that required in solving middle school ratio and proportion problems. These skills included understanding ratios, directly, inversely, and nonproportional relationships. The test was applied to 282 seventh grade students, and the collected data were analyzed using the Mplus software. The analysis showed that approximately 62% of the students were able to recognize directly proportional relationships. Whereas, roughly 48% of them were able to recognize inversely proportional relationships. Moreover, while 25% of the students did not master any of the four cognitive skills, 39.1% mastered all four of these skills. In addition, many students had difficulty distinguishing proportional relationships from nonproportional relationships. Diagnostic feedbacks on the students' strengths and weaknesses were provided based on the findings.