Using digital technologies and contemporary psychometrics in the assessment of performance on complex practical tasks
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Education / Centre for Schooling and Learning Technologies
There is a critical need for research into the use of digital technologies to support the assessment of performance on complex tasks in schools. This paper reports on a component of a pilot study aimed at investigating the use of digital forms of performance assessment, manageable within schools, with high levels of reliability and capable of being scaled up for statewide implementation. Student practical performances were represented in digital files, placed in an online repository and marked using both a standards‐reference and comparative pairs method. It was found that the short performance tasks exam was readily implemented and the work easily marked. The resulting scores were shown to be highly reliable and well correlated when compared with the other case studies and suitable for ranking students. However, the limitations of the tasks, time and scaffolding of the tasks reduced the study’s validity in assessing student capability in the course. Overall the results were encouraging and provide a basis for a larger and longer study that has commenced.