File misread problems

Some file formatting problems are reported with error messages. Others simply mislead Winsteps.

 

General rules:

(a) All control and data files must be in "DOS TEXT" or ASCII format.

(b) To check if your control specifications have been correctly interpreted, look at Table 0, at the end of your "output" file.

(c) To check if your data have been correctly interpreted, produce an RFILE= file and look at the response strings, particularly for column alignment.

 


 

Common Problems and their Diagnoses

 

1) Message: VARIABLE UNKNOWN OR VALUE INVALID:

 

Diagnosis: A line in your control file is not of the format "variable = value". This may be because your control file is in not in DOS Text or ASCII format. Return to your text editor and save your control file as a DOS Text file. Then rerun.

 

2A) Message: PROBLEM: BLANK LINE NEEDED AT END OF: filename

 

Diagnosis: The last line of file "filename" does not end with a line-feed (LF) code (so does not meet strict Windows specifications). This can be fixed by adding a blank line to the end of that file. You can use Notepad to do this by editing the file from the Winsteps .

 

2B) Message:

Use last entry in File menu to add final blank line to:

filename

Then press enter key, or enter a different file name:

 

Diagnosis: The last line of file "filename" does not end with a line-feed (LF) code (so does not meet strict Windows specifications). This can be fixed by adding a blank line to the end of that file. You can use Notepad to do this by access the file from the Winsteps File menu. It will probably be the last file listed there. You could also copy the file, add a blank last line, and then type in the file name in Winsteps.

 

3) Blank characters disappear, causing misalignment of data or control instructions.

 

Diagnosis:

(a) These "blank" characters could be ASCII "13" (CR) codes. Some word processors treat them as blanks, some as end-of-line codes, and some ignore them, making them "disappear". Winsteps ignores them. WordPad reports them as squares. Replace them with blanks.

(b) These "blank" characters could be ASCII "9" (TAB) codes. Word processors expand these into several blanks.

Winsteps treats them as one blank. For consistency, globally replace Tab characters with blanks.

 

4) Data or control lines disappear.

 

Diagnosis:

(a) Word processors automatically wrap long lines across several lines. Winsteps does not. Make sure that each line ends with an "end of line" code.

(b) Some word processors use ASCII "13" (CR) as an end-of-line code. Winsteps ignores these codes. Use ASCII "10" (LF) as the end-of-line code. Press the Alt key, while typing 10 on the numeric keypad to generate this code.

 

5) Data or control lines are split across several lines.

 

Diagnosis: You may have edited your control or data files with a word processor that wrapped one line across several lines. When you saved this file in DOS text format, each line was then saved as several lines. Re-edit the file, reduce the point size, maximize the page size (e.g., landscape) until each line only occupies one line. Then save the file again in DOS text or ASCII format.

 

6) Message: BEYOND CAPACITY

Diagnosis: Your data file contains more person records than can be analyzed in one run. Some records have been bypassed.

 

Data sets that exceed program capacity to analyze in one run offer opportunities, as well as challenges. There are several strategies.

I. Analyze a sample of the data. Use this to produce anchor values. Then, using the anchor values, run all the data one section at a time.

II. Analyze a sample of the data. Analyze another sample. Compare results to identify instability and compute reasonable anchor values. Remember that small random changes in item calibrations have negligible effect on person measures.

 

To select a sample of your data, use the FORMAT= statement. See the example on pseudo-random person selection on page .

 

There are versions of Winsteps that support more persons. Contact www.winsteps.com for details.

 

7) File errors

Opening: c:\myfolder\myfile.txt

PROBLEM: FILE NAMING

PROBLEM: Access denied (5): for file: c:\myfolder\myfile.txt

 

a) Folder c:\myfolder does not exist

b) You may not have access rights (UAC) to file: c:\myfolder\myfile.txt

c) c:\myfolder\myfile.txt may be specified as an input file and an output file in the same analysis

d) c:\myfolder\myfile.txt may already be open in another analysis or by another application

e) c:\myfolder\myfile.txt may be an output file that already exists and is read-only.


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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
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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), https://ealta2018.testdaf.de
May 25 - June 22, 2018, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com
June 27 - 29, 2018, Wed.-Fri. Measurement at the Crossroads: History, philosophy and sociology of measurement, Paris, France., https://measurement2018.sciencesconf.org
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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" www.promsociety.org
Aug. 10 - Sept. 7, 2018, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (E. Smith, Facets), www.statistics.com
Oct. 12 - Nov. 9, 2018, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com

 

 

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