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PISA Computer-Based Assessment of Student Skills in Science

image of PISA Computer-Based Assessment of Student Skills in Science

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.

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Features of the computer-based items and performance

The high reading load on paper-and-pencil science items appeared as a disadvantage for males. However, males did better than females on more difficult paper-and-pencil items, as well as computer-based items.

While the domain coverage across test modalities was similar, males outperformed females in all domains on the computer-based items. There were more computer-based items that were easier for males than females.

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