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.


Analysing and integrating new sources of data reliably in innovative assessments

This chapter explores whether robust analytic techniques are available to generate defensible inferences from complex data generated by digital assessments, including process data. Digital technologies hold great promise for helping to bring about changes in educational measurement and assessment, but one challenge to be faced is how to accumulate different sources of evidence in defensible ways to make inferences when constructs and observations include inherent complexity. This chapter discusses some potential solutions for making measurement inferences at scale using complex data, notably hybrid measurement models that incorporate one measurement model within another. The chapter conceptually draws on an example of a complex task in a technology-rich environment from the OECD Platform for Innovative Learning Assessments (PILA) to highlight this analytical approach.


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