The results of the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) have been released, comparing student performance in 65 countries around the world.
The PISA study asks “What do 15-year-olds know and what can they do with what they know?” The study included all 34 OECD countries and 31 partner countries and economies, surveying about 510 000 students around the world. Students were assessed on their reading, mathematics, science, and problem-solving skills.
China came out on top, with Shanghai clinching the highest scores in maths, reading, and science. Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao were also among the top ranked regions. Singapore was ranked second, followed closely by Korea and Japan. Three European countries rounded out the top ten: Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
The PISA study emphasized the importance of maths education, citing the subject as a crucial skill for productivity in the modern economy. Meanwhile, students’ abilities in maths are decreasing, according to the PISA trend data. Over 60% of the countries in the study performed worse in 2012 than in 2003. Many students, about 30%, reported feeling helpless when doing maths problems.
The study is conducted every three years, so countries can see how their performance has changed over time. Italy, Poland and Portugal in particular have shown improvement in maths. Between 2003 and 2012, these countries increased their share of top-performing students and decreased their share of low performers.
In addition to assessing student performance, the study included a background questionnaire about the students’ home life, schools, and learning experiences. Students with parents who have high expectations of them tend to have more perseverance, greater intrinsic motivation to learn maths, and more confidence in their own abilities. Socio-economically disadvantaged students scored lower in mathematics and had lower motivation, drive, and belief in themselves.
The PISA study identified certain characteristics of high-performing school systems. One important observation was that more money did not always mean better results. Above a certain level of expenditure per student, what matters is not how much is allocated, but how equitably resources are allocated. School systems that distributed their resources more equitably were more successful. Highly stratified school systems, such as those that separated students into different tracks or institutions based on performance, ended up having lower overall scores.
The full results of the study are available at the OECD-PISA website. On 4 December 2013, there will be a webinar given by Andreas Schleicher, OECD Deputy Director for Education and Skills, to present the results of the survey.
How do digital technologies transform the way we collect, organize, visualize, and exploit evidence to inform future learning? The 12th International ePortfolio and Identity Conference (ePIC 2014) has opened a call for contributions on the topic of Evidence-Based Learning.
Emerging technologies and tools have created new opportunities and methods for the collection, interpretation, and use of evidence in the learning process. Innovations such as Open Badges, xAPI, Learning Analytics, MOOCs, and Open Data are now contributing to our understanding of technology-supported learning.
In this context, Evidence-Based Learning covers two different and complementary perspectives. Firstly, the use of evidence can help educators to optimize their practice. Secondly, the exploration of newly available types of evidence could lead to transformative innovations in the learning experience.
ePIC 2014 aims to form a complete picture of the technology landscape wherein current ePortfolio initiatives are being built, and to understand how evidence collected in this environment can be used to transform future education. Authors are invited to submit an abstract that relates to the following issues:
- Evidence: how wide is the range of evidence we can collect to plan, support, assess and improve learning processes, as individual learners, professional educators, education leaders, employers and policy makers?
- Collection: what are the methods and technologies at our disposal to collect this potential much wider range of evidence?
- Trust: how to insure and verify the validity of evidence collected?
- Visualisation: how to represent collections of evidence to make informed decisions?
- Interpretation: how good are we at making sense of this range of evidence?
- Practice : how the answers to the preceding questions should impact professional practice?
- Technologies : how the answers to the preceding questions should impact ePortfolio and ePortfolio-related technologies?
ePIC 2014 brings together policy-makers, researchers, teachers, trainers, human resource managers and technologists. As a thematic event it allows an in-depth and broad exploration of the issues - and results in real outcomes. Past events have lead to the creation of national and international networks, contribution to policies, contribution to standardisation bodies, establishing partnerships with other communities in the field of digital identity and human resource standards, transnational projects and numerous publications.
The current issue of Open Praxis focuses on the assessment of students' learning in open, distance and flexible education.
Table of Contents
|Learning assessment in open, distance and flexible education||HTML PDF|
Research and innovative practice articles on Learning assessment in open, distance and flexible education
|Reflections on assessment in Open Distance Learning (ODL): the case of the University of South Africa (UNISA)|
|Moeketsi Letseka, Victor Pitsoe||197-206|
|Assessment in Open and Distance Learning System (ODL): A Challenge|
|S. V. S. Chaudhary, Niradhar Dey||207-216|
|Technologies for learner-centered feedback|
|Jane Costello, Daph Crane||217-225|
|Community members’ interference and conduct of University distance learning examinations In South Eastern Nigeria|
|Anthony Odera Unamma||227-237|
|Mastery of Course Learning Outcomes in ODL: A Case Study of the Pearson eCollege Learning Outcome Manager|
|Ishan Sudeera Abeywardena||239-248|
Innovative practice articles
|Mobile technology: implications of its application on learning|
|Samuel Adesola Adeyemo, Gloria Olusola Adedoja, Omobola Adelore||249-254|
|theCN.com: An Academic-cum-Social Networking Online Platform|
|Mandar Lakshmikant Bhanushe||255-258|
The EduSenior project aims to improve the quality of educational institutions that currently are offering courses and activities or wish to implement a learning activity aimed to senior learners (65+ or retired).
Supported by the European Commission’s the Lifelong Learning Programme, EduSenior is offering from June to September 2013 the free online course “Senior education: A Quality of Life approach to assessing educational institutions”, targeted to professionals, decision makers, students and, in general, anybody interested in the topic of adult and senior education.
The virtual classroom will open on May 27th, and the course will start on June 3rd. The course is 100% virtual and will be offered in English and Spanish (different groups). Participants will also have the option to choose the intensity which best suits their needs:
- A 4 months course: June - September 2013.Average time required: 8 h. per week
- Or a 2 months course: June - July 2013. Average time required: 16 h. per week.
The course is organised by the Senior Citizens’ University (Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain) and the Akademia im. Jana Długosza (Jan Długosz University, Częstochowa, Poland) and is part of the EduSenior project “Evaluation toolkit on seniors’ education to improve their quality of life" (QEduSen).
The topics to be addressed during the online training sessions are:
- Introduction to the needs and requirements of the elderly and potentialities of education
- Analysis of educational factors that help increase seniors’ competences and increase their quality of life, with real examples and other case studies.
- Introduction to the evaluation process to increase quality in an institution.
- Application of the EduSenior evaluation toolkit
The online registration to participate in this course will remain open until 26 May.
The European Commission has opened the Call for Independent Experts for the Safer Internet Programme 2009-2013.
The Safer Internet Programme aims to empower and protecting children and young people online by awareness raising initiatives and by fighting illegal and harmful content and conduct over the internet.
The tasks of the experts include assisting the European Commission in evaluating proposals submitted in response to calls and the review of individual Safer Internet projects, as well as legacy projects funded under the Safer Internet plus programme. Experts included in the database will be assigned specific tasks on a case-by-case basis, according to the relevance of their education, expertise and interests in the tasks at hand.
The Call is open until 30 September 2013, and the list of experts will remain valid until December 31st.
Experts are entitled to a payment in the form of a lump sum per day of work and reimbursement of travel and subsistence expenses in accordance with the scales valid at the time of signature of the agreement with the Commission.
A document with the specifications and conditions of the Call for Independent Experts for the Safer Internet Programme 2009-2013 is available here (only in English).
Applicants who are already on the list of experts drawn up for the implementation of the Safer Internet plus programmes (call for experts 2005-2009) must submit a new application.
Only online applications are accepted for this call. Click here to register as a new expert or update an existing profile.
The IADIS CELDA 2013 conference aims to address the main issues concerned with evolving learning processes and supporting pedagogies and applications in the digital age. There have been advances in both cognitive psychology and computing that have affected the educational arena. The convergence of these two disciplines is increasing at a fast pace and affecting academia and professional practice in many ways. Paradigms such as just-in-time learning, constructivism, student-centered learning and collaborative approaches have emerged and are being supported by technological advancements such as simulations, virtual reality and multi-agents systems.
Many discussions of technology-based assessments concentrate on automating current methods of testing to save time and cost. However, technology also changes what educators can assess, how and when to assess it, and for what purpose. Assessments can be embedded in ICTs, and have the potential to measure learning processes, in addition to end-of-lesson knowledge.
Technology-aided assessments are useful not only in the evaluation of ICTs, but also as part of the design process, leading to iterative improvement. This brief focuses on assessment in ICTs, discussing how technology-enabled assessments can be leveraged to improve ICT design and student learning.
Open Education Resources (OER) for assessment and credit for students project: Towards a logic model and plan for action
Macintosh, W., McGreal, R., & Taylor, J. (2011). Open Education Resources (OER) for assessment and credit for students project: Towards a logic model and plan for action. Athabasca University: Athabasca.
Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2149/303