Pre-conference workshop

Cognitive Diagnosis Modeling: A General Framework Approach and Its Implementation in R

Jimmy de la Torre, The University of Hong Kong

Wenchao Ma, University of Alabama

Professor Jimmy de la Torre, the University of Hong Kong (Copyright: Jimmy de la Torre)


This workshop aims to provide participants the necessary practical experience to use cognitive diagnosis models (CDMs) in applied settings. It will also highlight the theoretical underpinnings needed for the proper use of CDMs.

In this workshop, participants will be introduced to a proportional reasoning (PR) assessment that was developed from scratch using a CDM paradigm. Participants will get opportunities to work with PR assessment-based data. Moreover, they will learn how to use GDINA, an R package developed by the instructors for a series of CDM analyses (e.g., model calibration, CDM evaluation at item and test levels, Q-matrix validation, differential item functioning analysis). To ensure the proper use of CDMs, the theoretical bases for these analyses will be discussed.

Dr. Wenchao Ma, University of Alabama (Copyright: Wenchao Ma)

The intended audience of the workshop includes anyone interested in CDMs who has some familiarity with item response theory and the R programming language. No previous knowledge of CDM is required. By the end of the session, participants are expected to have a basic understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of CDM, as well as the ability to conduct various CDM analyses using the GDINA (external link) package. Participants will be requested to bring their laptops for the GDINA package hands-on exercises.


Dr. Jimmy de la Torre is a Professor at the Faculty of Education at The University of Hong Kong. His research interests include latent variable models for educational and psychological measurement, and how assessment can be used to improve classroom instruction and learning. His work in the area of CDM includes development of various cognitive diagnosis models, implementation of estimation codes for cognitive diagnosis models, and development of a general framework for model estimation, test comparison, and Q-matrix validation.

Dr. Wenchao Ma is an Assistant Professor at the College of Education at the University of Alabama. His research focuses on CDM and item response theory. He has published papers on CDMs in Applied Psychological Measurement and British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology. He is also the main developer of the GDINA package.


The full-day workshop consists of eight 50-minute sessions, two 30-minute breaks, and an hour-long lunch break. The structure of the training session is given below, and is followed by a brief description of each session. Seven sessions will have built-in, practical hands-on exercises, six of which involves the GDINA package. Overall, more than 80% of the workshop time will be devoted to hands-on activities.


Time Topic




(1) Introduction to CDM and Development of a Diagnostic Assessment


(2) The G-DINA Model Framework†




(3) Introduction to the GDINA R Package and Model Calibration†*


Lunch Break


(4) Model Fit Evaluation†*


(5) Model Comparison†*




(6) Q-Matrix Validation†*


(7) CDM Analyses in One fell Swoop and Data Simulation†*



Notes: † = contains hands-on exercises; * = involves the GDINA package.

Published Aug. 22, 2017 10:51 AM - Last modified Oct. 4, 2018 11:02 AM