Beyond Proficiency

Using Log Files to Understand Respondent Behaviour in the Survey of Adult Skills

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Computer-based administration of large-scale assessments makes it possible to collect a rich set of information on test takers, through analysis of the log files recording interactions between the computer interface and the server. This report examines timing and engagement indicators from the Survey of Adult Skills, a product of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), both of which indicate large differences across countries and socio-demographic groups, in the amount of time spent by respondents and their levels of disengagement, which reduce the probability of giving a correct answer and consequently reduces measured performance. Such insights can help policy makers, researchers and educators to better understand respondents’ cognitive strategies and the underlying causes of low and high performance. This, in turn, can help improve the design of assessments and lead to more effective training and learning programmes.


Timing indicators in the Survey of Adult Skills

This chapter provides an overview of the indicators extracted from log files, analysing differences across countries, cognitive domains and the socio-demographic characteristics of respondents. Older respondents and more educated adults tended to spend more time on the assessment, and time spent on the assessment was found to be positively correlated with performance. The data also show a positive relationship between timing indicators and literacy proficiency.



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