Network 9 was represented at the ECER 2008 Conference in Gothenburg (Sweden) with a good number of sessions. The conference program of Network 9 consisted of 16 sessions with a total number of 43 papers. The sessions attracted a varied audience due to the range of different topics presented with 15 to 25 people on average.
Given the success of last year’s symposium, this year researchers working on three international large-scale assessments of students' performance studies (TIMSS, PIRLS and PISA), particularly the National Research Co-ordinators of these studies, were invited to prepare contributions to be included in the ‘thematic’ symposium with the umbrella theme: "Towards Explaining Achievement: Findings From International Comparative Assessment Studies". This symposium was chaired by Tjeerd Plomp and Pekka Kupari.
Altogether, the symposium included 19 papers. The papers were organized in 7 thematic sessions of about three papers each, on the following topics:
• Relationship in Reading Performance (two sessions)
• Relationship in Mathematics Performance
• Relationship in Science Performance
• National Reflections on International Comparative Achievement Studies
• Performance Issues in Different Subject Domanains (two sessions)
Network 9 also included 9 paper sessions of about three papers each, with a total number of 24 papers. The paper sessions had the following titles:
• General Aspects in Assessment
• Tools and Methods in Assessment (two sessions)
• Assessment in Basic and Secondary Education
• Assessment in Higher Education
• Assessment in Math and Science
• Assessment in Reading and Writing
• Assessment in Language Subjects
• Examination Practice within Teacher Education Praxis: Meaningful and Valid?
Five papers were withdrawn or not presented, which is considerably less than at last ECER, a positive development.
This meeting was attended by 16 people and the following topics were adressed:
1. From the EERA convenor's meeting
EERA convenors meeting approved of the proposal to change the name of the network from "Student Assessment" to "Assessment, Evaluation, Testing, and Measurement", and to rephrase the networks scope. This change was due to the fact that many of the papers presented in Network 9 were on the topic of assessment, but not necessarily just assessment of student learning. Also, the network receives numerous papers in the areas of evaluation and monitoring, both not covered by the former title. (For the new mission statement, see "Network Objectives").
2. Purpose and scope of the network and ECER 2009
In general, participants were satisfied with the papers presented at ECER 2008. However, in accordance with the new mission statement, a desire was expressed to widen the network's focus to include more research aimed at fundamtenal issues and theoretical developments in assessment, evaluation, testing and measurement, especially in terms of research methodology. This should be taken into consideration when planning the Network's activities for ECER 2009.
3. Network convenor
Wilfried Bos (Insitute for School Development Research, TU of Dortmund, Germany) was announced and accepted as the new convenor of Network, succeeding Tjeerd Plomp (U. of Twente, Netherlands). Tjeerd Plomp and Pekka Kupari (U. of Jyväskylä, Finland) will serve as network co-convenors.