Assessing the Outcomes and Processes of Student Collaborations
Traditional educational tests target a relatively narrow set of constructs compared to the range of competencies required for student success. One way to address this issue is through the use of performance-based assessments that have better fidelity to the situations in which students learn and are expected to demonstrate their knowledge. In this talk I focus on one particular performance context – collaborative problem solving (CPS) – as an avenue for broadening what we can infer about student ability. While the use of collaboration and group work for assessment purposes has a relatively long history, it also features prominently in current initiatives concerning the measurement of “21st century skills.” I provide an overview of the general research context, which motivates my current work on item design and psychometric modeling. The methodological aspects of the talk are illustrated with empirical results from an ongoing project involving a CPS assessment designed for high school mathematics.
Peter Halpin’s research focuses on psychometrics (e.g., confirmatory factor analysis, item response theory, latent class analysis), as well as statistical methods for complex and technology-enhanced educational assessments. His work has been published in methodological journals including Psychometrika, Structural Equation Modeling, and Multivariate Behavioral Research, as well as general interest journals including Educational Researcher. Notable funding sources include NAEd / Spencer Foundation (Postdoctoral Fellowship); the Statistics and Research Methodology Program of the Institute of Education Sciences (Early Career Grant); and the Natural Science and Engineering Council of Canada (Postdoctoral Fellowship).