Innovating Assessments to Measure and Support Complex Skills

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Policy makers around the world recognise the importance of developing young people’s 21st century skills like problem solving, creative thinking, self-regulation and collaboration. Many countries also include these skills as part of the intended learning outcomes of their education systems. To shift intention into practice, educational assessments need to better measure what matters. Innovative assessments are needed that combine conceptual, technological and methodological advances in educational measurement.

This report explores new approaches to measuring complex skills through a practical and applied assessment design lens, bringing together perspectives from leading experts to consider what we can learn from the learning sciences to define more authentic assessment experiences and expand the range of skills we are able to measure in both disciplinary and cross-disciplinary contexts of practice. The report also examines how technology can expand our possibilities for innovation, including the creation of more interactive and immersive problems and the generation of meaningful sources of potential evidence about students’ proficiency. Finally, the report explores how we can make sense of the rich data captured in interactive digital environments using new analytical approaches, and how we can ensure the valid interpretation and use of results from innovative assessments.


Exploiting technology to innovate assessment

This chapter provides an overview of how digital technologies can be integrated in different assessment paradigms (traditional assessment, technology-enhanced assessment and embedded assessment). The chapter discusses the promise of technology in bridging educational rhetoric with practical assessment challenges, and in particular discusses technology-enabled innovations across the three interconnected models of an Evidence-Centred Design (ECD) assessment framework. It considers innovations at the conceptual model level (i.e. advances in the kinds of complex and dynamic performances that can be elicited), at the task model level (i.e. advances in task design) and at the measurement levels (i.e. advances in data analysis and learning analytics). The chapter underlines that technology must be used purposefully in assessment following the principles of a coherent design process.


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