Using Response Time and Accuracy Data to Inform the Measurement of Fluency

  • John J. PrindleEmail author
  • Alison M. Mitchell
  • Yaacov Petscher


Reading fluency identifies the ability for children to articulately evidence comprehension of passages presented and this type of task inherently has components related to ability and response latency. Children with higher rates of fluency will theoretically have higher abilities and lower response latencies. Traditional methods for analyzing performance have focused on ability to correctly respond, ignoring response latency information. Theoretical models for response latency have introduced frameworks relating item difficulty and response time, ignoring responses correctness. More recent work by van der Linden (2007) proposed a joint response and response latency framework, with simultaneous estimation of ability and speed parameters. We provide an overview of traditional ability modeling schemes and evidence in favor of including response latency in the estimation of ability. An applied example of reading fluency illustrates the combined response and response latency model and how to interpret these findings in relation to traditional response only models. Our findings show more accurate parameter estimates are obtained when response latency is modeled versus response only models. Researchers and educators are encouraged to gather data efficiently and embrace modern modeling methods to more closely model theoretical frameworks.


Item response theory Speeded assessment Conditional item response theory Measurement Psychometrics Reliability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • John J. Prindle
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alison M. Mitchell
    • 2
  • Yaacov Petscher
    • 3
  1. 1.Max Planck InstituteBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Lexia LearningConcordUSA
  3. 3.Florida Center for Reading ResearchFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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