The use of multilevel modeling and the level two residual file to explore the relationship between Middle Years Programme student performance and Diploma Programme student performance (2014)

Melissa Gordon and Liz Bergeron, IB Global Research department

Multilevel modeling has recently found a substantial niche in the context of educational research, although several details about the methodological application of these models have yet to be explored in an achievement data framework. This paper makes use of data provided by the International Baccalaureate (IB) to investigate modeling decisions in an effort to increase understanding about the way these models function. The focus of this research is on the relationship between performances in two IB programmes: the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (DP). Using data collected from 2007–2011 and limiting the sample size to students who remained in the same school district for their MYP and DP education resulted in a total sample size of 4,924, with data collected across 42 countries. Results revealed that a one-unit increase in MYP moderation performance was associated with a .5 unit increase in DP performance, and that MYP performance explained 44% of the variation in DP performance. Empirical findings suggest that students who perform better during MYP moderation tend to perform better on DP exams, even after controlling for school membership.

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