09 SES 13 C, Current Issues in Developing Assessments
Parallel Paper Session
The comparability of qualifications receives much attention in the UK. One purpose of awarding bodies is to ensure the comparability of various pathways to further study and work. There are established methods for comparability research (Newton et al., 2007). Greatorex (2011) explains that such research often compares:
· The demands of assessment tasks e.g. examination questions
· The quality of learners’ performance e.g. as illustrated by their responses in scripts
· Prior/concurrent measures of attainment.
Comparability research is usually post hoc. In contrast, this research explores the feasibility of building research into qualification development.
· To compare the demands of established units and new units.
· To identify the relevance of affective, cognitive, interpersonal, metacognitive and psychomotor taxonomies to each unit in the specifications.
Some taxonomies, e.g. taxonomy of educational objectives (Bloom, 1956), indicate what is more or less demanding. They are based on extensive research and might offer a robust framework for comparing demand. Therefore, we compared demands using taxonomies which applied to adolescent, adult, academic, work based and practical learning. The taxonomies were:
· Affective (Hauenstein, 1998)
· Cognitive (Hauenstein, 1998)
· Interpersonal (Rackham & Morgan, 1977)
· Metacognitive (Howell & Caros, 2006)
· Psychomotor (Hauenstein, 1998).
References Greatorex, J. (2011) Comparing different types of qualifications and alternative comparator, Research Matters: A Cambridge Assessment Publication. Special Issue 2: Comparability, 34-41. Hauenstein, A.D. (1998). A conceptual framework for educational objectives: A holistic approach to traditional taxonomies. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. Howell, K. & Caros, J. (2006). Taxonomy of Metacognitive activities: Advanced/strategic reading. Available at http://www.wce.wwu.edu/Depts/SPED/Forms/Howell%20-Taxonomy%20%20of%20Strategic%20Reading.pdf accessed on 16 August 2010. Newton, P., Baird, J., Goldstein, H., Patrick, H. and Tymms, P. (Eds.), (2007), Techniques for monitoring the comparability of examination standards. London: Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. Rackham, N. & Morgan, T. (1977). Behaviour Analysis in Training, Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill.
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