Seminar Series

| University College London

| 18/10/2021 h.12.45

A brief review of computer-based assessments in education and an application to the study of test taking strategies of videogamers

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Francesca will first review the use of computer-based assessments in education and the opportunities they afford. In particular she will consider opportunities arising from the analysis of log files as well as potential pitfalls. She will then present an application of the use of log-files to data from the PISA 2018 science assessment. Videogaming is a popular among teenagers worldwide: in 2018, about one in three (33%) 15-year-olds, on average across 52 high- and middle-income countries, played videogames every day or almost every day. Among boys, that proportion was close to one in two (49%). Many popular videogames among teenagers encourage inductive discovery as an effective problem-solving strategy. Written instructions seldom need to be read. By contrast, gaming often involves early information foraging and expansive exploration behaviors. Francesca will present results on joint work with Francesco Avvisati in which they explore whether students who regularly play video-games (gamers) adopt behaviors that are typical of gaming while they complete the PISA computer-based science assessment. The assessment included interactive items designed to identify procedural science knowledge as well as static items designed to identify science content knowledge. Findings indicate that gamers do not differ from other students in science content knowledge and in reading fluency, a measure of how fast they read. Compared to other students, gamers spend less time reading instructions and display more active exploration behaviors in the assessment on items that include simulation tools. Analyses reveal differences by sex.


Francesca holds a British Academy Global Professorship at University College London and is the Head of the Skills Analysis team in the Centre for Skills at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) where she was previously responsible for analytical and developmental work in the OECD-led international assessments (PISA and PIAAC). Her current work considers the role of technology in shaping academic and socio-emotional/motivational skills and how research can benefit from technology use in education and testing to characterise test takers’ socio emotional/motivational skills and problem solving processes. Her interests include: cross-country differences in skills and academic achievement, gender and socio-economic disparities in academic achievement, student engagement and motivation, the outcomes of migrant and language minority students, the role of education in shaping trust and attitudes towards migration. She held positions in the Department of Social Policy and the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po and the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.