Network 9 was represented at the ECER 2009 Conference in Vienna (Austria) with a good number of sessions. The conference program of Network 9 consisted of 28 sessions with a total number of 88 papers, a considerable increase from last ECER. The sessions attracted a varied audience due to the range of different topics presented with 15 to 25 people on average. Single key sessions had more than 50 participants.
Our network programme contained four symposia:
1. Towards Explaining Achievement: Findings from International Comparative Achievement Studies
Altogether, the symposium included 24 papers. The papers were organized in 8 thematic sessions on the following topics:
- Relationships in Reading Performance (4 sessions)
- Performance Issues in Mathematics and Science
- Relationships in Mathematics Performance
- Performance Issues in Different Subject Domains
- National Reflections
2. The Acquisition of Language Competencies of Children (Age 4-15) with Social and Migrational Disparities: Results of Empirical Studies
This symposium included 6 papers. The papers were organized in 2 thematic sessions of three papers each, on the overall symposium topic.
3. Issues in International Large-Scale Assessments
This symposium included 4 papers, which were organized in 1 thematic session on the symposium topic.
4. Rasch Measurement in Educational Contexts
Altogether, the symposium included 13 papers, which were organized in 4 thematic sessions on the overall symposium topic.
Network 9 also included 13 paper sessions, with a total number of 41 papers.
The paper sessions had the following titles:
- Assessment With Gifted and Talented Students
- Assessment of Teacher Competencies and Attitudes
- Assessment and Grades
- Assessment of Instructions and Learning
- Testing Theory and Methodology
- Assessment in Elementary and Primary Education
- International Large-Scale Assessments: Heterogeneity Issues
- International Large Scale Assessments in Science
- Assessment in Mathematics
- Assessment in Higher Education (2 sessions)
- Assessment in Secondary Education
- Assessment in Science
14 papers were withdrawn or not presented, which is a greater number than last year.
In addition to the paper submissions, our network programme also had 6 posters compared to no posters last ECER. This is a positive development, and we aim to encourage more poster submissions, especially by those researchers for whom a paper presentation might mean a language barrier.
This meeting was attended by about 25 people and two main topics were addressed.
1. Review procedure
Both the rising interest in ECER in general as well as in the topics of our Network led to a great increase in submissions for Network 9: In the end of reviewing, Network 9 had 102 Papers and 6 Posters in our program. With some late withdrawals, there were still 88 papers left, which is more than double the number of ECER 2008. In the review process, before redirections of submitted papers to other networks and withdrawals, we had close to 140 submissions for our network. We asked our reviewers to give the submitters constructive responses and in cases of rejections reveal in detail what could be done to improve the paper for a submission next conference. At the same time, we have to keep such a review process manageable. Thus the network meeting was used to call for further reviewers to support our review procedure. This call will also go out via e-mail, using the network’s mailing list.
2. Network cohesion
In terms of cohesion in our network, it probably will take a little while to establish the transition from the focused and closely knit context of student assessment to our now widened scope of Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement. There are more, and more diverse, research interests in our network now, and new research focuses and international co-operations in this European Research Space will come from this. There are several ways we can support a knowledge exchange in our network, to make fruitful use of the large number of delegates:
- We will make more use of our Network’s website on the EERA website, to inform on network activities themselves, as well as on conferences and publications relevant for the research in our field.
- We will try to get all network members more involved: Next to a call for papers, we will also send out a call for chairs and discussant. As with the reviewers, we aim to establish research profiles of our members, to be able to approach them with a question for chairing or discussing on the topics the members have a research interest in themselves.
- We encourage publications from our network.