Field Trial

Summary of Field Trial Phase

All countries participating in ICCS are required to participate in a Field Trial the year preceding the Main Study. The Field Trial took place in Ireland from January 8th to January 24th 2008. The purpose of the Field Trial is to evaluate the appropriateness of the tests and questionnaires and the administrative procedures, and to use this information to refine and improve materials and procedures for the Main Study.

Number of participating schools, students and teachers
In Ireland, 28 schools, 553 students and 387 teachers participated in the Field Trial. In total, 718 schools, 19,387 students and 9,383 teachers participated in the ICCS Field Trial around the world.

Response rates
The school response rate in Ireland was 84%. The international response rate requirement for schools was 85%, so Ireland fell marginally below this. The response rate among students in Ireland was 90%. The teacher response rate was 81%, which, although high for a survey of this kind, was below the international requirement of 85%.

Changes since the field trial
The Student Test has been shortened from 60 minutes to 45 minutes, the Student Questionnaire from 45 to 40 minutes and the European Module from 30 minutes to 20 minutes.

A review of comments from school staff has been used to simplify administration and shorten informational materials.

Feedback to schools participating in the Field Trial
All schools participating in the Field Trial were sent feedback on the results of the survey in early September 2008. This included school averages of student performance on the test and the school average on a small number of student and teacher attitudinal scales. The overall averages for Ireland were also provided to schools to facilitate an interpretation of the school’s profile relative to the national one. Unfortunately, the design of the survey means that individual-level results are not reliable, so they cannot be provided.