Transition to Computer-Based Assessment in PISA 2015: A question of validity

This PhD, commenced in September 2015, is undertaken by Caroline McKeown.

Title: The Transition to Computer-Based Assessment in PISA 2015: A question of validity? Student ‎process and test-taking behaviour in relation to science achievement in Ireland.

Overview: This PhD study seeks to explore student process and test-taking behaviour via process data analysis in ‎international large-scale educational assessment, PISA, the OECD’s Programme for International ‎Student Achievement (PISA). ‎The analysis involves the extraction of process data from student log files from the PISA 2015 Field Trial and ‎Main Study administrations for the domain of scientific literacy.  The data will be processed to build ‎meaningful sequences that are theoretically grounded. ‎ Given the large and significant drop in the performance of Irish students in the domain of scientific literacy in PISA 2015, the new test items, particularly the science simulations, may provide rich data to highlight the ‎strategies employed by students and potentially shed light on why students are underperforming on these items. This PhD study seeks to contribute to the emerging field of process data ‎analysis in educational assessment, to the discussion of validity in the assessment of scientific literacy, and to STEM-related teaching, ‎learning and assessment in Ireland. ‎

Supervisor: Professor Damian Murchan, School of Education, Trinity College Dublin.