The AEA Europe Summer 2019 Newsletter

Editor’s Note

Dear Readers,

Hope you are enjoying summer! Once more, we reach the end of another academic year, and it is time for an update about AEA-Europe’s activities and member news.

In this Summer 2019 edition of our newsletter, our AEA-Europe President, Jannette Elwood highlights the activities undertaken by AEA-Europe during the past few months, emphasizing the ongoing commitment of the association’s committees and members, and thanking them for supporting the work of the association.

As you plan your events for autumn 2019, I am sure you have saved the dates of our next annual conference in Lisbon in November 2019. Our hosts from the Institute for Educational Assessment (IAVE) in Portugal are working very hard to make the conference yet another success. Online registration is already open, and all presenters are urged to register very early so that the conference programme can be organized and sent to participants much ahead of time. More details can be found on the Easy Conferences website: https://2019.aea-europe.net/.

eAssessment continues to be a major priority area in educational assessment and in this issue, you can read about the activities shared by our members on this topic. Our eAssessment SIG recently organized a webinar on remote proctoring, discussing the potential of this mode of invigilation to exceed that of the exam room. The group also discussed its progress and planning for the future and will hold a pre-conference workshop on “Innovative onscreen assessment” during the Lisbon conference in November this year.  The FLIP+ eAssessment community has also set up its association dedicated to sharing knowledge and experience, technology developments and content among its members. Check out our article with links to the presentations made in the FLIP+ Rome event last June. Student researchers in the field of assessment will be pleased to note the creation of AEA-Europe’s own Student Research Group to facilitate collaboration and support between its members during their studies. Still on researchers, AEA-Europe wishes to congratulate Dr Aisling Keane, from Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), Northern Ireland for winning the 2019 Kathleen Tattersall New Assessment Researcher Award. Can existing technologies facilitate a shift to continuous assessment as a viable format in high-stakes examinations? Learn about the research in this field, being done by the Centre for Education Research and Practice (UK) to digitalize part of the coursework assessment cycle in English Language. When designing eAssessments, to what extent are all relevant information included when assessing student skills, what feedback is given to students and stakeholders, and for what purposes? Read on to discover initiatives which address these topics. The Portuguese Exam Board at IAVE shares with us how they use descriptive feedback to students in external assessment to improve teaching and learning. Assessment platforms are also powerful spaces to enhance the use of assessment data. An example is MathemaTIC in Luxembourg that now offers an assessment for learning environment for grades 3-8 students, offering them a personalized way to interact with and visualize interactive content at a level that would not be possible with traditional e-assessment items. Another example in Guyana shows how a data portal offers a suite of interactive reports for key stakeholders to highlight ‘what works’, ‘centres of excellence’, and ‘areas for improvement’. “Elevate My Maths” is another customized assessment for learning system which diagnoses the fundamental maths skills of students and provides them with targeted remediation to upgrade their areas of weakness in a non-threatening interactive technology environment.

These are all exciting developments which our authors have shared with us in this issue, and I wish to give a big shout out to them. As you read the newsletter, I invite you too to consider sharing your work in this space. Let our association members know about your work on research, educational assessment and policy programs. Use this space to connect with the broader community of assessment in education.

To include your story in the autumn issue of our newsletter, please feel free to reach out to me at aminath.afif@men.lu.

Have a great summer and happy reading!

A word from the President

I am now seven months into my role as President of AEA-Europe, and I am steadily regaining a close understanding of the workings of the association as well as the organisational aspects of the annual conference. Our initial work as a Council this year was to reflect on your feedback about the Arnhem-Nijmegen 2018 Conference and with the association’s Council members and those of the committees, we have listened to your views, reflected upon and initiated different courses of actions with regards to the functioning and the organisation of AEA-Europe. In this newsletter, I would like to highlight the activities undertaken by AEA-Europe during the past few months.

As usual, in February, we sent out the call for submissions to our Annual Conference – the 20th Annual Conference which will be in Lisbon on 13-16 November 2019. It is with great pleasure that I can report a great number of proposals were received and have been reviewed/selected. This shows not only a great interest in the work of AEA-Europe, but also a great interest in our lovely venue of Lisbon, Portugal! Now that the review process for the submissions is complete, I would like to extend my thanks to all those members who gave of their time to review the submissions and to do so in such a timely way.   Registration to participate in the conference has now opened, and so I encourage you to book early!  Especially all the presenters who will have been contacted recently – please register as early as possible which will allow the organisers and to better anticipate the programme of the conference and to have it ready earlier for participants to plan their trip. Indeed, we count on your participation to make the conference a success.

In March and April, two requests were also sent out by the association: (i) follow-ups to expressions of interest in hosting the 2021 and 2022 AEA-Europe conferences and (ii) applications for the Kathleen Tattersall New Assessment Researcher Award 2019. The responses for hosting the future conferences are currently being processed, and the winner of the researcher award has been announced. Concerning the hosting of future conferences, we are meeting with Dublin colleagues in July 2019 to sign the contract between AEA-Europe and Trinity College Dublin and the Educational Research Centre Dublin to host the 2020 conference in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin. More news about this conference when we meet in November!

Our Spring AEA-Europe Council meeting of this year was held in May in Lisbon at the offices of IAVE, our Portuguese hosts. The objective was to check out the facilities for the conference and to discuss all relevant organisational questions. The Council members also took this opportunity to discuss many other issues related to AEA-Europe at different levels: practical (issues of communication with the membership in its widest sense), organisational (finance and budget) and strategic (improving the AEA-Europe membership and the workings of the Scientific Programme Committee). An update was also made on the ongoing work undertaken by the association’s committees (Publication Committee: newsletter, social media, special interest group; Professional development Committee: Kathleen Tattersall Award, Fellowship Programme, standards; and The Scientific Programme Committee: keynote speakers, submissions, reviewing). We will update members more fully on all this work when we meet at the Annual General Meeting in November.

So I am extremely grateful for the ongoing commitment of all our committee members and to all of you who support the work of AEA-Europe. I am also very conscious that all this support and work is carried out voluntarily, but the fact that we are growing and thriving is a testament to you all and all your hard work – even when you are all deeply involved your own professional lives and roles. Thank you for your ongoing support – the Association is nothing without us all!

Enjoy the newsletter and please continue to let us know about your news and events!

AEA-Europe 2019 Conference in Lisbon, Portugal

The Institute for Educational Assessment (IAVE) in Portugal and its Local Committee are proud to be organizing the 20th AEA-Europe Conference, which will take place at the Sana Lisboa Hotel on the 13th – 16th November 2019. More details can be found on the Easy Conferences website: https://2019.aea-europe.net/.

As has been announced, the theme of the Conference is Assessment for transformation: teaching, learning and improving educational outcomes, emphasizing assessment as a tool that can play a relevant role in transforming the ways students are taught, the ways they develop as learners and how this can contribute to high-quality educational outcomes around the world.

Following the high number of submissions that have been accepted, the academic programme will include a diversity of pre-conference workshops, parallel sessions, discussion groups, symposia and poster presentations. The welcome reception will be held at the Sana Lisboa Hotel, and the social events programme will include visits to historical sites in Lisbon and the traditional gala dinner, at a restaurant overlooking the city in the heart of Lisbon Forest Park.

We are working very hard to make sure the conference is yet another successful one, and we look forward to meeting you in Lisbon!

Using eAssessment to extend global reach

The AEA-Europe eAssessment SIG organised its 4th webinar on June 26th 2019, which was presented by Liam Simington, Assessment Manager, in Assessment Standards and Innovations at the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) in London. Liam presented a really interesting talk on Remote Invigilation (also known as Remote Proctoring) and proposes that, as our skills in using remote technologies evolve, then this mode of invigilation has potential not to replicate the exam room but to exceed it. His presentation focused on where research needs to look next to ensure assessment administration has the attention that it needs.

Liam considered key theoretical and practical issues relating to examination malfeasance, proof of concept and presented data and findings from a pilot research project conducted by the CII. The audience particularly enjoyed his discussion of the ‘golden toilet’ to represent dealing with those breaks that are inherent in the exam experience… so how to manage them in remote settings?

Liam’s work at CII provides a unique snapshot of the research, trialling and challenges that he has faced and how he is working to create a strong model for remote invigilation so as to keep offering broader access to the CII suite of qualifications.

Liam has experience as a test developer, teacher and now manages the assessment processes and practice at CII, where he has developed significant expertise in electronic assessments for professional qualifications. Liam is a member of the AEA eAssessment SIG Steering Group.

To stay informed and receive invitations about the AEA-Europe eAssessment SIG, you can visit our Facebook group or register for the email list by contacting Mary Richardson (mary.richardson@ucl.ac.uk).

AEA-Europe SIG eAssessment – Progress and Planning for the Future

‘We need a shift in organisations from a risk mindset to an opportunity mindset to encourage and promote greater use of e-assessment.’ This was one of the contributions to the Discussion Group hosted by the eAssessment SIG at the 2018 AEA conference. Titled ‘Progress and Planning for the Future’, the Discussion Group invited both existing and prospective members of the SIG to share their experiences of its activities since its launch at the AEA 2017 conference and ideas for future activities. Around 50 delegates took up this opportunity and generated some lively debate and discussion.

Amongst the themes addressed were communication, including which social media tools were most appropriate for supporting the SIG’s activities, the three webinars which had been run over the last year, with feedback on these being very positive and themes on which the SIG should focus in future. This theme was informed by the results of a survey run by the SIG over the last year. The survey invited respondents to select the five areas of e-assessment that interested them most from a list of 23 areas devised by the Steering Group.

SIG communication through Facebook, potentially mixing private and professional communication, was an obstacle to some and various other options were discussed. Over the past months, the SIG has implemented the move from the Facebook Group to the more visible SIG webpage under the AEA Europe banner, where you can register for membership as well. The SIG webpage has just posted its first of a hopefully regular blog, and plans are underway to include a newsfeed, a forum as well as pages on resources by topic.

The webinars were well received, with many registrations and downloads by SIG members afterwards. The SIG has continued the webinars, most recently in June 2019, inviting members by email. Discussion is ongoing regarding a providing more open access to the webinars themselves, combined with SIG-member-only access to the recordings.

An updated version of the successful SIG eAssessment pre-conference workshop on Innovative onscreen assessment will be offered at the 2019 AEA-Europe conference in Lisbon, with an opportunity to experience the complexity of migrating examination items to a digital environment. The SIG has planned a brief business meeting which will be included in the conference programme. The SIG Steering Group cordially invites you to join us in either of these events, or at the conference social events.

See you in Lisbon!

AEA-Europe Student Research Group

AEA-Europe has created a Student Research Group group for doctoral or masters students who are interested in educational assessment to discuss, debate, share information, and play a part in the association. This group is meant to function as a platform to build a professional network without having to necessarily travel to conferences. The Facebook group is also an opportunity to organise the local cooperation of young researchers working in the same geographical area or to connect people who are going to the same events.  We believe that we have a lot to benefit from each other and that this group will be a great opportunity to support each other in our studies. Through the Facebook group, we will be sharing useful links to publications, conferences, webinars, job opportunities, and other resources. The plan is to also set up discussion groups for young researchers working on topics such as science assessment, new technologies and innovation, policy, standard setting, large-scale international assessments, and many more.

Kristine Gorgen (Oxford University) together with Tamara Rozas and Lydia May Townsend (UCL IOE) are driving this initiative forward to establish a community of future experts in educational assessment.

You can find the group on Facebook under Association for Educational Assessment- Europe- Student Research Group. Please feel free to join if you are a student in the field of assessment or to make your younger colleagues and students aware of the group. All suggestions for content are also very welcome.

For further information about this group, please contact Kristine Gorgen at kristine.gorgen@gtc.ox.ac.uk.

Kathleen Tattersall New Assessment Researcher Award 2019

AEA-Europe is pleased to announce that the winner of the Kathleen Tattersall New Assessment Researcher Award for 2019 is Dr Aisling Keane, from Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), Northern Ireland.

Upon completing her PhD in Anatomy (National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland), Aisling joined the Centre for Biomedical Sciences Education at the QUB in 2005 as a Lecturer (Education). Recognising the importance of educational research in third level education, Aisling undertook and graduated with a Doctorate in Education (2019) from QUB. Her educational research is underpinned by sociocultural approaches to exploring the nature of assessment, learning and student transition to third level education and scholarship of teaching and learning in Higher Education. Aisling’s work makes an original contribution to the field through the application of a sociocultural framework to explore student experiences of formative assessment in the first year of university and the impact of this on subsequent approaches to assessment and learning, particularly in the second year.

Aisling’s keynote lecture at the 2019 AEA-Europe conference this year is entitled “Formative Assessment in Student Transition to Higher Education – A Sociocultural Perspective”. Informed by Rogoff’s Three Planes of Analysis framework and influenced by situated participationism, it will explore and expand discussions surrounding formative assessment to offer alternative approaches to current practices dominant in the early years of UG teaching and educational transitions in general. This is important as a clearly articulated sociocultural perspective provides comprehensive theoretical insight into formative assessment practices in first year higher education, which inadvertently negatively impact on student enculturation into a new community. This work advocates for sociocultural approaches, which see pedagogies as transformative for newcomers when they rely on clear frameworks of mutual participation between staff and students in valuable on-going cultural activities. Such pedagogies facilitate learner involvement to recognise processes and efforts that contribute to community goals.

For further information about Aisling’s work, you can reach out to her at a.keane@qub.ac.uk.

The FLIP+ e-assessment association is launched

The FLIP+ e-association is proud to inform readers that the association was officially launched right after its second international FLIP+ event held in Rome on 6th – 7th June 2019. 

The governance structure of FLIP+ was presented, and the statutes of the new association were then outlined. The FLIP+ event was the opportunity for over 50 participants from educational assessment and technology institutions in 13 countries to share their experiences related to e-assessment. Representatives from the IEA, OECD and UNESCO also attended the meeting.

Presentations included the experience of administering online national tests to over 1.6million students in France and Italy. Other experiences were presented by representatives from Luxembourg, Brazil, Ireland, Japan, Canada and the USA. The FLIP+ developer community held separate conversations to share updates, demos and functionalities. These included technology-enhanced items related to 21st-century skills and Maths & Science, sharing systems (plug-ins, technical experience), delivery solutions (offline, apps, accessibility and other functionalities) and tools such as marking/reporting, and data analytics. All presentations are available for download at https://flip-plus.org/latest-news.

The FLIP+ team also clarified the value-added of being part of this community and the broad principles underlying the collaborative framework of FLIP+. As participants emphasized the need to share item content for different subjects, an item library will be set up to be shared within the FLIP+ e-assessment community. To further specify the modalities and principles of sharing this content, a separate FLIP+ workshop will be organized by the National Institute for the Educational Evaluation of Instruction and Training (Italy), Invalsi, in Rome in autumn 2019.

The FLIP+ team will organize its third international event on the 11th -12th  June 2020. To learn more about FLIP+, please visit us at https://flip-plus.org/ or contact the secretariat of the association at  info@flip-plus.org or aminath.afif@men.lu.

A brave new world of continuous assessment

This research seeks to determine whether existing technologies can facilitate a shift to continuous assessment as a viable format in high-stakes examinations in England. By ‘continuous assessment’, we mean a cyclical process whereby each test is followed by further teaching and learning and contributes to an overall qualification mark. Because of the breadth of the issue, we decided to confine our initial enquiry to one subject, English Language, and a specific type of continuous assessment, coursework (its key aspect is that all student work is marked continuously but moderated at the end of a cycle of studies, so teachers and school can only receive feedback once).

In the past, English Language coursework was a popular assessment format, even though it never quite enjoyed the same widespread use of external examinations. It was very well received by teachers, who claimed it was a valid approach to assess proficiency as it allowed pupils to perform on a range of different stimuli, styles and topics. Today, however, English Language qualifications are solely achieved through external examinations (a teacher-assessed spoken language component exists but does not count towards the qualification). Therefore, we set out to understand why coursework was removed from the examination system and whether technological improvements may alleviate some of the difficulties that led to its removal.

Our research work was presented at the AEA-Europe conference in 2018. The presentation dealt briefly with both the historical and the technological aspects. We started by showing how historical sources helped us clarify what the coursework assessment cycle was, which stakeholders were involved at each stage and which issues and pressure points coursework faced over the years. These included manageability, comparability, reliability and difficulty finding a place in a new accountability system. We then showed how academic literature provided evidence that existing technologies have successfully been used to carry out coursework-related activities in a range of settings, such as marking, teacher and peer feedback, or secure submission and storage of student work.

Our preliminary findings, therefore, suggest that digitalizing part of the coursework assessment cycle today would not be unfeasible. So what is next in our research? Firstly, we still need to detail some aspects of the assessment cycle so that we can accurately match teaching, learning and assessment activities to technologies. Secondly, we would like to gather more evidence about historical issues with coursework and current use of technology in classrooms by accessing grey literature and interviewing teachers. Only then will we be able to state, with some confidence, which problematic aspects of coursework could be ‘solved’ using tools that did not exist in the past. If we are successful, we will be able to turn our findings into a set of recommendations that could go beyond English Literature and be applied to any subject with the coursework-based assessment. We will also be able to lay the first stepping stones towards a future in which not only coursework, but continuous assessment more broadly defined, is a real possibility.

For further information about this research, please contact CAloisi@aqa.org.uk or CWhitehouse@aqa.org.uk.

Improving teaching and learning through descriptive feedback in external assessment

In Portugal, the current external assessment model includes the administration of low stakes tests at the end of 2nd, 5th and 8th grades (mid-cycle years). The present legislation clearly states that the objective is to allow schools and students to improve learning and achieve success by monitoring the curricula without an impact on grades and certification.

To enhance the formative trait of this project, two new dimensions were embedded in the assessment framework: i) a focus on the diagnostic and formative use of results, with a strong commitment to promote learning through descriptive feedback and a real integration of both external and internal assessment; ii) a wider range of subjects to be assessed externally. There are no marks, items being graded through a coded system in which each code matches a specific performance outcome. In the past three years, the range of subjects assessed has become wider, including Arts and Physical Education for all the grade cohorts of students.

At IAVE, which is the Portuguese exam board, we are responsible for designing the tests and reporting results at individual and school level:

  • RIPA (Individual student report) – by subject and domain
  • REPA (global school report, at both school and class level) – by subject, domain and cognitive process

These reports have proved to be powerful feedback instruments for all stakeholders to promote school improvement and students’ learning.

Having said that, and knowing that a score (which has been the usual way to convey information about learning for a long time when it comes to external assessment) is clearly a very poor piece of information, and understanding that we need something more comprehensive and descriptive of each student performance grounded the decision about delivering results. This meant using grades to improve learning, a new concept as far as external assessment is concerned in Portugal. Up to a point, we did not realize whether it was possible to create, generate and deliver a report per student, within a very short time frame (3 to 4 weeks after the end of the marking process). We started conceptualizing the report in January 2016, and managed to develop all the programming for three different full cohorts, each one with around 100,000 students and for several different tests.

Also, we knew that providing a report that includes a descriptive analysis of each student performance along with a mark would create a sort of distraction (for teachers, parents and even students). That would lead to a guaranteed underappreciation of the description and an overrating of the score, something that we wanted to avoid. That is why we simply decided not to structure the marking scheme and process linked to any score or grade and chose to have a coding system instead. The key issue here is to deliver individualized and descriptive feedback mainly to students, not leaving anyone behind and making the assessment process fair by making students the main stakeholders of their learning process.

This project was presented at the AEA-Europe conference in 2018. For further information, please contact paula.simoes@iave.pt.

An assessment for learning platform in mathematics for lower secondary school students

The successful launch and implementation of MathemaTIC, the assessment for learning platform in mathematics, for primary school students in Luxembourg led to the development of about 300 new technology-enhanced items over the past three years for students in lower secondary schools (grades 7 & 8). The Luxembourg Ministry of Education is now excited to announce the official launch of this new development in the Fall of 2019 for students across Luxembourg.

As with all content launched with MathemaTIC, the grade 7 & 8 content will be presented to students in a personalized learning environment made up of learning pathways separated into different modules, each covering a key topic area that students work towards mastering. Each of the learning pathways is comprised of three different phases with unique item types as well as diagnostic, formative, and summative assessments for students to Learn, Practice, and Apply.

The new grades 7 and 8 students content will be broken down into the following key module topics: 

Throughout these modules, students are provided with interactive tools that allow them to engage and learn mathematics.

In the Angles & Geometric Construction module, many items contain uniquely designed digital tools that allow students to freely transform, rearrange and modify different shapes and angles. This freedom of manipulation gives students a personalized way to interact with and visualize content at a level that would not be possible with traditional e-assessment items.

To learn more about accessing MathemaTIC and providing it to your students, feel free to contact Amina Afif aminath.afif@men.lu.

The power of combining assessment data insights with online exam authoring capacity to transform education: A case study from Guyana

The Guyana Government’s “Vision 2020: The Good Life in a Green Economy” policy emphasised the need for a highly educated and skilled workforce to diversify the economy. This initiative is supported by World Bank funding for the period 2017-2023, which led to a project being commissioned from GradeMaker, leading a group of suppliers to offer technology and professional training services.

The first step was to understand their objectives for school improvement and to see what data was available to support their goals. They wanted to reduce disparities in progress between boys and girls, between coastal and riverine/hinterland regions, and drive improvement in STEM subjects, but none of their historical data was in a useable form. Using GradeMaker Analytics, a large bank of historical student results data was loaded into a data portal, with additional information about the 670 schools. There was no unique pupil identifier, so the data were linked together using ‘fuzzy matching’ technology. This resulted in a highly searchable, rich data resource. A suite of interactive reports was created for each stakeholder group – schools, regions and ministry officials. Crucial in rolling out the use of the data portal was that the key stakeholders were trained in reading the reports, which enabled them to use them with confidence. This portal is now highlighting ‘what works’, ‘centres of excellence’, and ‘areas for improvement’ and is being used by Guyana to inform school inspections and improvement planning.

The second step in their plan for educational improvement is to implement online authoring and item banking to specifically improve the quality of their exams, through the better review and improved paper level coverage analysis made available by technology. The ministry saw using technology in this way to support exam authoring as key to the transformation process. It is particularly important in a country where exam authors are geographically remote from each other, and where security is also critical.  Once items have been generated, an innovative remote ‘mentoring’ service will be provided whereby external experts securely review author’s work to embed the initial training principles. Guyana is also using the technology to store a searchable exam ‘reference bank’ to inform future authoring and review decisions. Training (both professional and technical) has proved crucial to the adoption process for both the data portal and the authoring system.

The next phase will include reports into performance at subject topic level, which is enabled using the authoring technology. This will deliver richer insights to schools and regions to highlight their strengths and weaknesses in teaching the topics and skills set out in the revised curriculum helping them to set training, appraisal and resource acquisition plans and form the basis of more detailed inspection conversations.

To find out more about how Guyana is driving educational improvement, or to hear more about GradeMaker services, please contact David Haggie at dhaggie@grademaker.com or visit our website, www.grademaker.com.

Assessment for Learning system to reduce Maths anxiety

An Ipsos MORI poll that was conducted in 2018 found that 80% of adults in the United Kingdom have never heard of the term Maths Anxiety! Does it really matter?

Shirley Conran from the Maths Anxiety Trust explains that maths anxiety matters because it leads to stress, low self-esteem, poorly managed finances, and decreased social mobility. It has a profound impact on the economy and on businesses.

Dr Tom Hunt & Prof. David Sheffield from the University of Derby, who have been researching maths anxiety for many years, designed a study to develop a measure of maths anxiety suitable for the British undergraduate student population. In addition to the numerous findings, it aimed to validate the Mathematics Anxiety Scale in the UK (MAS-UK). It also identified that the highest maths anxiety levels were found in the faculty of arts, media, and design. The lowest was found in the business faculty. Dr Hunt and Prof. Sheffield shared their findings at the Maths Anxiety Summit in 2018.

With a focus on reducing math anxiety, which has been identified as the root cause of students’ low maths attainment, the University of Derby has been approaching the challenge in a unique way. Over the past year, Dr Ovidiu Bagdasar from the University led the development and implementation of a customized assessment for learning system called Elevate My Maths. The system diagnoses the fundamental maths skills of students and provides them with targeted remediation to upgrade their areas of weakness in a non-threatening interactive technology environment. On completion of the diagnostic and upgrading modules, students attempt a summative assessment to identify their gains and download a certificate of achievement.

This system was introduced to students in the College of Engineering and Technology as well as students referred by the Career and Employment Service and is proving to successfully provide them with the required numeracy skills that they need to be prepared for their maths courses. The voice-enabled, interactive technology-enhanced items are proving to minimize the intimidation associated with maths by helping students connect abstract maths concepts to their practical applications, in turn bringing life to mathematics!

As more mathematics undergraduates at the University of Derby are being recruited to work as teaching assistants for local schools, there is also a pressing need to ensure that they can teach the subject to children at the appropriate level.

The University’s Elevate My Maths system is proving to reduce maths anxiety for students by providing them with a platform to enjoy learning crucial maths concepts that they need to succeed in higher education and beyond.

The project also supports interdisciplinary research in maths anxiety, carried out in collaboration with international partners from Greece, Romania, Turkey and Sweden.

For more information on this project, please contact Dr Ovidiu Bagdasar o.bagdasar@derby.ac.uk or Dr Thomas Hunt  t.hunt@derby.ac.uk

Issue 27 of the Research Matters journal now available

Research Matters is our free journal, which allows us to share our assessment research with the wider assessment community. It is produced twice a year by the Research Division of Cambridge Assessment and features articles, short summaries, and comment on prominent research articles. Readers of the AEA-Europe Newsletter can also read and explore full details of the contents, articles and features of all previous issues of Research Matters, via our Group’s website.

If any AEA-Europe members are not already on our mailing list and would like to receive a regular, printed copy of the journal, they are very welcome to contact Karen Barden: Barden.K@cambridgeassessment.org.uk.