I am delighted to welcome you to the Autumn 2016 AEA-Europe Newsletter which I have the privilege to edit for the first time. In this issue, you will learn about our upcoming AEA conference in Limassol. As countries transit from paper-based to digital approaches for monitoring student performance, we will share with you some computer-based learning and assessment experiences in some European countries. For instance, Portugal is trying out a new approach of reporting student performance based only on qualitative information, whereby student responses are analyzed and converted into an automated process of individual performance descriptors. Portugal has also introduced an external e-assessment, installed on a USB drive on computers, for 2500 students in 43 private schools - all in line with its medium-term strategy to generalize the e-assessment to all its public and private schools. Similarly you can read about how France created a network of local IT platforms to implement a large-scale assessment of 160,000 students in more than 4,000 secondary schools across the entire country. However, due to poorer IT equipment and internet access in primary schools in France, such an online assessment could only be carried out by designing an interface on mobile devices which administrators then bring to schools for the test implementation. Another example comes from Norway with an attempt to assess students’ collaboration and problem solving competences using the “Learning in Digital Networks” test which has been adapted to fit the Norwegian language, and cultural, and school context. As opposed to computer-based testing, the case of Luxembourg illustrates the piloting of an adaptive learning platform for mathematics - where 1700 students from 40 schools have 24/7 access to mathematics resources on any mobile device, including computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, both at school and at home.
As the digital revolution sweeps into education, international research attempts to assess and compare the level of computer and information literacy of young people on a global scale. To this effect, read further to learn about the second phase of the International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) planned for 2018 under the responsibility of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).
Turning to a doctoral dissertation, one article summarizes how a researcher from the University of Norway explored teacher and student perceptions and practices of formative assessment in writing classes of English as a foreign language (EFL).
An announcement is also made in this issue about a new Masters Course in Educational Measurement in Netherlands addressed to teachers which includes knowledge of educational measurement in the curriculum of teacher-training colleges. Finally, the Department of Psychometrics and Research (CITO) in Netherlands informs readers that a vacancy exists for a third co-editor from Europe to join the editing team of the online Journal of Applied Testing Technology (JATT).
AEA-Europe Newsletter Editor
New Council Members