LEA PhD Projects
Research within LEA is aimed at assessing learning outcomes and competences of students, teachers, and school leaders, to respond to didactical and general educational research questions and to policy-oriented issues . In addition, method development will be central to the group's work, particularly methods that can be used in the construction of assessment instruments and in the analysis of data from large-scale educational asssessment projects (e.g., TIMSS, PISA, ICILS).
The Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) has experienced growth in the number of participating educational systems. Participating countries have thus formed a heterogeneous mix of countries which possess diverse cultures and languages. With the high stakes attached to ILSAs, I will use SACMEQ III data to assess how well the current models under use perform with respect to cultural differences that exist within different subpopulations, that is, within specific nations; between countries that share similar characteristics (regional i.e. Southern African Development Community or the Eastern African Community). Ultimately, the impacts of these differences on final results will be reviewed.
Ragnhild Engdal Jensen
The main aim of my research project is to explore whether paper-based and on-screen reading assessments measure the same underlying reading construct. Currently we can observe a trend where paper-based reading assessments are carbon-copied and replaced with digitally delivered, on-screen assessments: in 2015 the PISA reading assessment was conducted on-screen for the first time, and from 2016 it is planned that the Norwegian national tests in reading will be as well. I want to draw attention to the fact that the way students read texts and solve items, may be different, depending on the test delivery mode, which in turn could affect students test results. To examine the questions I raise in my project, I want to analyze PISA and national test data to identify tasks where the test delivery mode influences students’ comprehension. In addition a questionnaire will be developed to investigate how students view reading on paper and on-screen. Finally, I want to develop a parallel test utilizing assessment items for which a difference between the two test delivery modes has been observed and use eye tracking methodology to investigate how students read texts on paper and screen.
My research project focuses primarily on examining students' scientific arguments in PISA 2015. A design of enquiry is explicitly included on the new PISA framework using interactive simulations that enable students to generate relevant evidence in order to support their arguments. This new format provides an opportunity to analyze the quality of students' arguments and the challenges they faced in constructing their arguments in a large-scale study. The analysis on the characteristics of students' arguments can cast a better light on designing teaching strategies that address the challenges to promote scientific argumentation practices in the classrooms.
My research project aims to further understanding of existing standardized science assessments by using techniques from explanatory item response theory (IRT) to investigate properties of test items in these assessments and how these properties interact with given person characteristics. Ultimately, a better understanding of the items – the basic building blocks of a test – can inform future test designs for science assessment.
My PhD project is about identifying the mathematical competencies needed to solve mathematics test items and about which item features determine test performance. A theoretical framework with descriptions of six mathematical competencies, and four levels of demand for each competency, will be used to analyse items from PISA 2012 and a Norwegian 10th grade mathematics exam. The identified competency requirements of the items will be used to examine 1) the predictability of item difficulty, 2) the alignment between the Norwegian mathematics curriculum, the exam and the PISA test, and 3) the possibility of assessing students competency profiles.
The principal aim of this project is to examine to which extent high school grades can predict students' participation and success in university programs. To establish a broad meta-analytic context, a systematic review will be conducted of the existing research literature. In a more in-depth study, students' high school grades and national exam results from the official records of the Ethiopean National Educational Assesment and Examination Agency will be linked to the university admission test and cumulative GPA university results. A further exploration of important student and university characteristics can shed further light on the research question and potentially aid in informing future educational policy in Ethiopia.