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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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Use of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) across genders and impact on achievement

The vast majority of students have computers and Internet connections at home. Not having a computer at home is associated with poorer performance on the CBAS test. Overall, males score higher than females on the frequency of use of scales. Perhaps as a result of this, they also score higher on the confidence in using ICT scales, particularly in Iceland.

Females tend to use the Internet more for social networking activities such as chatting and email and their confidence is consequently higher for these activities. Males tend to browse the Internet, play games and download software a lot more than females and they perform advanced computer activities more frequently. Overall, males have much more confidence than females in most ICT activities, which is also found in ICT PISA 2003 results.

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