Annual Report 2016, Dublin

Annual Report 2016, Dublin

EERA Network 9: Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement

Conference program at ECER 2016

The conference program of Network 9 at ECER 2016 in Dublin consisted of 38 sessions with a total number of 107 contributions (this number includes joint contributions submitted to other networks). The network keynote was held this year by Jan Van Damme (KU Leuven) on the topic “Reflections from an educational effectiveness researcher on international studies.”

Most sessions in Network 9 were attended by 15 to 20 people. Single sessions such as the symposia attracted up to 50 participants. The network keynote, as highlight in the conference program, had an audience of more than 80 participants.

The Network 9 program and its organization once again comprised an international body of authors, chairpersons and discussants from more than 30 countries across Europe and beyond.

Of the six symposia organized in the conference program of Network 9, three were organized solely within Network 9 and addressed the following topics:
•    Findings from international comparative achievement studies (2 sessions)
(Symposium organizers: Wilfried Bos, Eugenio Gonzalez, Martin Goy, Monica Rosén and Jana Strakova)
•    Assessing instructional quality in international large-scale assessments
(Symposium organizers: Heike Wendt, Trude Nilsen, Jan Van Damme and Ole Kristian Bergem)
•    The relations between teacher quality, instructional quality and student outcome and their roles in the context of school climate
(Symposium organizers: Trude Nilsen and Jan-Eric Gustafsson)

Three further symposia were organized as joint ventures between Network 9 and other networks as part of activities across network boundaries:
•    Intellectualizing and organizing knowledge: The construction of educational facts
(Symposium organizer: Daniel Pettersson)
Joint symposium with Network 23 (Policy Studies and Politics of Education).
•    Global perspectives on international achievement testing and educational policy development
(Symposium organizer: Louis Volante)
Joint symposium with Network 13 (Philosophy of Education).
•    Developing the assessment capacity of teachers and intending teachers: Theory and practice (2 sessions)
(Symposium organizer: Sandra Johnson).
Joint symposium with Network 10 (Teacher Education Research).

Furthermore, the program of Network 9 included 27 paper sessions on the following topics (in alphabetic order):
•    A closer look at migration. Findings on attitudes, outcomes, and returns on education
•    A spotlight on Latin America
•    Assessing competencies in mother tongue, second and foreign language
•    Assessment practices and the goals of education: Some key issues
•    Attitudes, beliefs and competencies of future teachers and practicing teachers
•    Developments in education systems – trend perspectives
•    External school evaluations and school self-evaluations
•    Findings from ICILS 2013: Relating individual, class and school characteristics to ICT use and CIL achievement
•    Findings from PISA: Students’ attitudes, perceptions and performance
•    Formative and summative assessments (four sessions)
•    Investigating conditions of and influences on test performance
•    Investigating gender differences in students’ professional expectations and adults’ financial literacy
•    Investigating relations of student, school and context variables with students’ attitudes, behaviors and academic performance
•    Measuring cognitive processes and domain-general competencies
•    Measuring competencies in academic and vocational education
•    Methodological issues in tests and assessments (two sessions)
•    Relating student, teacher and context variables to student achievement and teacher judgements
•    Relating home and school learning environments to educational achievement
•    Relating student attitudes and teaching practices to science achievement
•    Relations of class composition and schools’ time-policy to students’ competencies, cognitions and motivations in lower secondary education
•    Research into the predictive validity of individual and contextual characteristics for academic success and returns on education
•    Scrutinizing tests and assessments in reading
•    Teacher characteristics and practices – exploring relations to student-, school- and system-level variables

In addition to these sessions, Network 13 (Philosophy of Education) invited Network 9 to have a Long Paper Session with Network 13 papers on the topic of PISA as a joint session. The session was thus included in the programs of both networks to attract audience also from Network 9.

Four posters were presented in Network 9. Further, two research workshops on the topics “Item response theory in large-scale assessments” and “Setting performance standards in large-scale assessments” were held. Workshops such as these have been held at ECER for a number of years now in Network 9. They are of high value and relevance for the network’s goal of building the professional capacities particularly for emerging researchers. However, research workshops such as these should more ideally be placed in a pre-conference setting. Network 9 has repeatedly tried over the past years to negotiate this option with EERA (on this issue see also the minutes of the network meeting included below).

Network 9 complements the workshops at ECER with one-week spring schools on “Advanced Methods in Educational Research” in order to offer additional, high-level capacity building to PhD students and Post-docs. These spring schools have been held annually since 2011 (for details, see the minutes of the network meeting included below).

The overall intake of initial submissions of proposals for contributions to Network 9 at ECER 2016 ranges once again high among the EERA networks, with 142 submissions before redirections, rejections and withdrawals (this number does not include those joint contributions with other networks that were initially submitted to the other networks and not to Network 9). The number of contributions finally to be presented in Network 9 was considerably lower due to the selection process in the review of submissions and also due to a number of authors withdrawing their submissions shortly before the conference. Among the reasons given for those withdrawals were lack of travel funds as well as unforeseen work commitments and urgent personal reasons. Beyond these reasons it was again also visible that the rule by EERA to withdraw contributions if the authors did not register for the conference by a stated deadline had an effect on the final contribution numbers in Network 9.

As in previous years, Network 9 supported the Emerging Researchers’ Conference (ERC) by participating in the review process and by offering to chair sessions in the ERC. As stated by the Link Convenor of the Emerging Researchers Group, Network 9 oftentimes provides the highest number of reviewers among networks to support the ERC review. Our network is grateful for this acknowledgement and considers this a matter of inter-network courtesy and also as an opportunity for offering feedback to those researchers who start out in the Emerging Researchers Group and join our network later on.

For further details on the work and activities in Network 9 see the minutes of the network meeting at ECER 2016 (see box at the top right) and the different sections of the website of Network 9.

Each network holds a Network Meeting during ECER and invites interested researchers to join. We have collected the network meeting minutes.
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EERA has published ECER statistics for each network since 2018.
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