PISA Computer-Based Assessment of Student Skills in Science

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This report documents the initial step towards an electronically-delivered Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test pioneered by Denmark, Iceland and Korea. In 2006, the PISA assessment of science included for the first time a computer-based test. The results discussed in this report highlight numerous challenges and encourage countries to take the work further.

PISA Computer-Based Assessment of Student Skills in Science describes how the 2006 survey was administered, presents 15-year-olds’ achievement scores in science and explains the impact of information communication technologies on both males’ and females’ science skills. While males outperformed females on the computer-based test in all three countries, females in Iceland and males in Denmark performed better than their counterparts on the paper-and-pencil test. The evidence shows that, overall, males are more confident and use computers more frequently. While females tend to use the Internet more for social networking activities, males tend to browse the Internet, play games and download software.

Readers will also learn how students reacted to the electronic questionnaire and how it compared with pencil-and-paper tests. In general, there were no group differences across test methods buts students enjoyed the computer-based test more than the paper-and-pencil test.



CBAS questionnaire results

Male responses to questionnaire items were more polarised than female replies. They usually strongly disagreed or strongly agreed with statements more than females, who tended towards more neutral categories. Motivation for the computer-based test was higher than for the paper-and-pencil test across all countries. Students enjoyed the computer-based test more than the paper-andpencil test. Most students prefered to do a computer-based test than a paperand- pencil test. Most students reported that they put the same amount of effort into both tests. Test enjoyment and motivation seemed to have little to do with achievement. Test preference and relative effort reports showed no association with test performance.


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