Winsteps and Facets User Comments and Customer Support

User Comments

"Thank you so much for the prompt reply. I corrected my specification file according to your comments and now it works well. I really appreciate your help." Analyst new to Facets software, June 2017

"Enormously helpful and very kind of you to take the time to help. .... I find it incredibly satisfying to be able to get something like this working! It also makes a crucial contribution to the project I'm working on." Analyst with an item-scoring challenge, June 2017

"Thank you for taking the time to respond. Your guideline proved to be enormously helpful, as it completely resolved the issue. (I took two key words from your response and searched the Winsteps manual on them, thus providing even more helpful material on the subject.), Long-time Winsteps user needing technical assistance. March 2017

"Facets: Downloaded and running beautifully on 32bit Windows XP in VirtualBox 5.1.8 on my MacBook OS X Yosemite 10.10.5." Australian Lecturer, November 2016

"Thanks Mike. That was brilliant. I knew you would have an answer almost intuitively. By the way the Chicago Cubs curse has been broken, hooray!" Analyst (and Cubs supporter) with computational paradox, November 2016

"Great! Thanks Mike:-)! You saved my day! I spent hours and could not figure out where it went wrong...I cannot believe that I overlooked the ";"..." Researcher with insoluble(?) problem, September 2016

"Thank you so much! This makes sense. I will try it out and let you know if I have any further problems, but I'm sure this will fix it." Analyst using Facets, July 2016

"Hi Mike--worked perfectly--bug squashed! Thanks again, ..." Long-time Winsteps analyst, December 2015

"Easy! Thank you, Mike...thanks for supporting us guys in the trenches with that incredible mind of yours! :)" Winsteps user with a "unit" problem. October, 2015

"The" Facets program downloaded and runs successfully, and it is proving easy to use. The Eckes book is an excellent companion to the software." New analyst. July 2015

"Great! Thanks heaps for your reply Mike. Didn't know that I could save output as csv files. Thanks for that." Analyst with a data-formatting problem, July 2015

"Ich will jetzt Winsteppen. (I will now use Winsteps.)" Analysts at William Boone's Winsteps workshop in Germany, May 2015

"Thanks so much for your explanation. I'm deeply grateful for all your guidance. It really helps me a lot." Analyst struggling to make sense of a Facets analysis, May 2015

"Thank you so much for your swift reply! This worked PERFECTLY!" Analyst who wondered "Is this possible? Have I painted myself into a corner?", January 2015

"I will give it a go. I can't tell you how comforting it is to know that there is always an answer to one's question when they work with Winsteps. When I was debating which software to purchase, this was one of the reasons why I chose Winsteps." Analyst facing a nasty item rescoring and weighting challenge, January 2015

"Great suggestion, Mike...thank you!! You are like a wise general, always ready to help us guys out there in the trenches. You are much appreciated! :)" Paper author. December 2014

"Wonderful additions to tables 23.x, Mike! What a time saving feature! The correlations of the measures resulting from different item subsets are even disattenuated! What a guy! You are a treasure, a jewel! Thanks so much." Long-time Rasch analyst. September 2014.

"Thanks you so much Mike, you are awesome--I was struggling with this calibration for the entire day and still didn't figure it out. I really appreciate your help!" Commercial analyst with a response-scoring problem. February 2014.

"It works! Awesome, Mike! Thanks so much!" Analyst needing assistance using Winsteps with an early version of Excel, November 2013

"PS: I truly appreciate your replies, guidance, and dedication on this forum. I know of no other expert so willing to share his expertise! You are a rare and exceptional individual. :-)" Forum participant with technical questions. July 2013

"Wow! Works like a dream, thank you!" Graduate student with an anchored analysis, July 2013

"And it must be said that" Facets is cracking some problems we had not previously been able to resolve properly, so it is being very useful indeed." Analyst with a large, complex dataset. June 2013

"Thank you so much for your cooperation. I really appreciate it. I was lost without Winsteps." Psychometrician installing software on a new computer. June 2013

"I am stunned by the promptitude and kindness that you helped me with. Great. It works. Now I can concentrate on my modeling." Graduate student up against a thesis deadline. June 2013

"Thank you so much for your help. I changed my data accordingly and managed to run the test and even produce the graph you attached." Education Professor, March 2013

"Yes, great. Thanks so much. I love the anchoring idea and have never understood it until this week. This opens up a whole new world for me. "Analyst, January 2013

"You just made my day! I did suspect that the answer to our prayers might be straightforward, but this was a pleasant surprise. I do appreciate your willingness to help, and hope I will get an opportunity to buy you a beer or something. "Psychologist with a tough measurement challenge, November 2012

"I am a student of University in Trier (Germany) and met Dr. Boone in the class for statistics. I think the program "Winsteps" is great to understand and is easy to work with." Student, November 2012

"I like to add that your PCAR [Principal Components Analysis of Rasch Residuals] has been really helpful in the confirmation of groupings of items we formed based on our qualitative understanding of the construct. In a few cases it has shown interesting contrasts we had not anticipated." Long-time Rasch expert, March 2011

"Thanks Mike, everything is working fine now. I appreciate the sample output, it helped me diagnosis a programming problem in the syntax." Analyst implementing a less-familiar option, January 2011

"Works great now, thanks!" Researcher who reported a bug in Winsteps, December 2010

"Thank you so much for the advice and sequential steps needed to execute the process. Thank you for writing back so quickly - wasn't entirely expecting to get a reply at all but figured it was worth a shot. And thank you for helping me breathe easier already. Look forward to taking courses with you in the future." Ph.D. student, July 2010.

"Thank you so much for your reply. I tried it, and I got perfectly same results with my contractor's. Your support is much appreciated. " Research administrator, March 2010

"Thanks very much - it loaded and worked. Thanks for all your energy on this - keeping it up for so long takes commitment. From what I can tell, it's more a passion than a business - and passion can wear out. This is a needed area. Consider this an "attaboy" with admiration." Long-time Rasch researcher, February 2010.

"Your even, good humored, and always helpful responses continue to impress me. It makes me proud to be associated with Rasch researchers." Response to a suggestion, February 2010.

"You do well on after sales service!" Prominent Rasch expert, June 2009

"Great, your recommendations worked fine." Researcher with an awkward analytical problem, June 2009.

"The batch = yes command worked like a charm for closing the program automatically! You were a super big help. Thanks 10^6." Researcher calling Winsteps from R, May 2009

"Thanks again for making that change to program several versions ago. It's been a life saver." Researcher on a CAT project, July 2008

"Thanks for your prompt reply. I'm going through the Help section now, which is amazingly comprehensive!" Medical researcher, June 2008

"Perfect. I'll try it out. This will be a big help for our test development." Item bank builder, June 2008

"Thank you for responding and sending me the [lost] password. All's well. I used Ministep in the meanwhile. Its been a lot of fun helping my students analyze their test scores with Ministep and Winsteps." University Professor, May 2008

"I am just happy to finally find something that appears to be working well." Research Scientist with a challenging data-analysis problem, May 2008

"The new module was successful, thank you. BTW I love this feature of Winsteps; it's really cool!" Manager, global professional services firm, March 2008

"Thank you very much! - to quote the US golfing cliché, "You da man!" - also, thanks for the suggestion of .... - hopefully, that will speed things up significantly" Large-scale number-cruncher, March 2006

"Not only does it help, it is EXACTLY what I needed to know. Thank you!" Analyst with a technical question, February 2006

"Super quick response and exactly what the doctor ordered! Many thanks!" Puzzled analyst, January 2006

"I am internally [eternally?] indebted to you for the help you've given me. I don't want to sound melodramatic, but you've got a heart of gold." Researcher on a government project, January 2006

" ... if Mike's words are not gibberish, they are awfully close." Casual observer, December 2005 (The biggest challenge we face is communicating ..." Arthur C. Clarke)

"Thank you so much for your help. I have been working on the scoring today and it has worked! Thank you for your time." Postgraduate student, November 2005

"Thanks for the quick reply. We got it straightened out in a few seconds once we knew where to look. Our end of the year analysis is so dependent on Winsteps that it's comforting to know that we have such a great resource for help if we need it." Certification professional, November 2005

"Thank you for your constant support! I continue to be completely amazed and delighted with your responsiveness and willingness to keep 'pushing the envelope' of usefulness for Winsteps." Research Director, Testing Organization, September 2005

"Thanks for getting back to me so promptly. I have downloaded the revised version of Facets and I will re-run the analyses tomorrow with the new convergence specifications and check the output as you suggested." Researcher, Australia, May 2005

"Thank you very much for your assistance! I was able to straighten everything out and it looks much better now. " Research Associate with a variable mapping problem, December 2004

"Winsteps - Dichotomous Rasch software with good graphing features." The MQM Virtual Lab Statistical Software Library, Michigan State University affiliate, December 2004

"Once again thank you for your generosity in guiding two novices through this area." Paper authors new to Rasch analysis, December 2004

"Thank you very much for your extremely helpful and detailed response to my questions! I appreciate your time and effort in responding." Research Assistant, August 2004

"Thank you for your great software and the even better support!" Researcher in Germany, July 2004

"I'm glad to be able to do research using FACETS and report on it at our conferences. FACETS is a great tool, my thanks to you." Industrial psychologist, June 2004

"Thank you! (once again) It worked perfectly, of course." Very experienced researcher, May 2004

"Thank you very much for your support. I appreciate your promptness and expertise at getting to what I needed." Certification Board Psychometrician, April 2004

"Thanks so much again!! This was exactly what I needed!" Test Analyst for a U.S. State, April 2004

"Thank you. That did solve my problem, and thank you for getting back to me so quickly!" Project Director, March 2004

"Yes, Table 2.12 is exactly what I need. Thank you so much for your help." Self-described "recent convert to Winsteps", February 2004

"It worked. Thank you for introducing such a nice feature into WINSTEPS." Analyst working for large New Jersey testing company. February 2003

"I just used the SPSS input and control file creation feature for the first time. I really needed it as I was under some pressure, and did it really come through!" Senior scientist, November 2003

"That is great, thank you! I truly appreciate all your help." Employee of major test publisher, November 2003

"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" Analyst under time pressure, September 2003

"Thanks again, Mike. Now I can confidently move forward with my dissertation!" Doctoral candidate in a medical specialty, August 2003

"Many thanks to your ALWAYS swift and correct replies! It worked!" Psychology Professor, August 2003

"Your rewriting of the program [instructions] worked! I thank you so much." Student struggling with Bigsteps, August 2003.

"Thank you very much for your quick reply. I downloaded the new version and it went very well. Thank you so much. Now I can present my study at the coming conference. I appreciate your kindness." Japanese researcher, August 2003

"I will let you know if there are any more problems. I ran the new program and everything went the way it should. Thank you for your help. Again, I appreciate your prompt replies." Researcher who discovered a bug in a rarely-used Winsteps option, July 2003

"Your response is cold, direct and insensitive. Provide a better explanation!" Student, June 2003. (Sorry, we do the best we can.)

"Count me among your new aficionados! I'm an educational researcher at the University of .... who is working ... on a federally-funded center related to ..." May 2003

"Thanks to you we were able to accomplish our objectives in producing the report and distributing in time for some important ... meetings." Data analyst, May 2003

"Thank you for your quick response. Seems like your response covered my questions, I'll get back to you if not." Workshop participant, April 2003

"We are working on a poster of the history of the AMPS for the Rasch symposium to honor Ben [Wright]. I dug out the first FACETS analysis you did on the AMPS -- 7 raters, 4 tasks, 3 people -- hard to believe that we now have about 85,000 people, 8000 raters, and 83 tasks [rated on 16 motor and 20 process skill items] !!!! All you have done to enable us to realize this incredible outcome has meant so much over the years!!!" Anne Fisher, AMPS Developer, April 2003

"Thank you so much for your help. I really appreciate it." New York "Facets" User, April 2003

"Outstanding! Thanks for your help." Research Director, April 2003

"Eureka! Thanks Mike, that really helps!" Researcher, March 2003

"Thank you very much for your time and help...this makes sense and helps...I'll keep you posted on my progress!" Ph.D. student, March 2003

"What a relief -- an easy fix! Thanks very much for your quick reply. Cheers." University Professor, March 2003

"Thank you. Your support, stewardship, and championing of your software, and Rasch measurement in general, are second to none. Again, I thank you. Your replies tonight have been exceptionally timely and helpful." Certification board psychometrician, March 2003

"Whenever I run analyses using Winsteps, I am amazed by the program's functionality as well as the knowledge and skills you put into the program. It is very user-friendly and comprehensive!" Medical researcher, October 2010

Customer Support

Winsteps and Facets are complex statistical measurement packages. New features are continually being added, but backward-compatibility to earlier versions is also maintained. For Winsteps and its predecessors, this goes back to 1985. For Facets to 1987.

Winsteps and Facets are both Windows-native software packages, taking advantage of many of the user-oriented features of Windows. But, for "production line" analysis, Windows can get in the way. Accordingly Windows features can also be bypassed.

All this means that there can be a somewhat steep learning curve during your first two or three analyses. Rasch theory can be an unfamiliar way to conceptualize your analytical problems. The program user interfaces are more complex than "point and click", though more "point and click" features are continually being added.

Consequently, the entire software manual, called the "User Manual", is in the program Help files, together with plenty of example data sets.

Customer support is also available free by email. Most problems are solved by means of a line or two of explanation regarding Rasch theory or program operation, a simple suggestion, and a reference to a section in the software Help file. If the problem is due to a program bug, then a "fixed" version of the software is provided free by download as soon as possible, and a work-around is suggested until that time.

Response to most emailed questions is provided within 24 hours, usually by Mike Linacre, the software developer.

Mike Linacre uses the software himself to analyze real data. He also monitors the professional literature looking for useful new ideas and approaches to incorporate in the software. Suggestions and requests from users are frequently the source of new software features.

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Winsteps Rasch measurement software. Buy for $149. & site licenses. Freeware student/evaluation download

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Rasch Publications
Rasch Measurement Transactions (free, online) Rasch Measurement research papers (free, online) Probabilistic Models for Some Intelligence and Attainment Tests, Georg Rasch Applying the Rasch Model 3rd. Ed., Bond & Fox Best Test Design, Wright & Stone
Rating Scale Analysis, Wright & Masters Introduction to Rasch Measurement, E. Smith & R. Smith Introduction to Many-Facet Rasch Measurement, Thomas Eckes Invariant Measurement with Raters and Rating Scales: Rasch Models for Rater-Mediated Assessments, George Engelhard, Jr. & Stefanie Wind Statistical Analyses for Language Testers, Rita Green
Rasch Models: Foundations, Recent Developments, and Applications, Fischer & Molenaar Journal of Applied Measurement Rasch models for measurement, David Andrich Constructing Measures, Mark Wilson Rasch Analysis in the Human Sciences, Boone, Stave, Yale
in Spanish: Análisis de Rasch para todos, Agustín Tristán Mediciones, Posicionamientos y Diagnósticos Competitivos, Juan Ramón Oreja Rodríguez
Winsteps Tutorials Facets Tutorials Rasch Discussion Groups


Coming Winsteps & Facets Events
May 22 - 24, 2018, Tues.-Thur. EALTA 2018 pre-conference workshop (Introduction to Rasch measurement using WINSTEPS and FACETS, Thomas Eckes & Frank Weiss-Motz),
May 25 - June 22, 2018, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps),
June 27 - 29, 2018, Wed.-Fri. Measurement at the Crossroads: History, philosophy and sociology of measurement, Paris, France.,
June 29 - July 27, 2018, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Further Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps),
July 25 - July 27, 2018, Wed.-Fri. Pacific-Rim Objective Measurement Symposium (PROMS), (Preconference workshops July 23-24, 2018) Fudan University, Shanghai, China "Applying Rasch Measurement in Language Assessment and across the Human Sciences"
Aug. 10 - Sept. 7, 2018, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (E. Smith, Facets),
Oct. 12 - Nov. 9, 2018, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps),


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