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Reliability and Validity of International Large-Scale Assessment

Understanding IEA’s Comparative Studies of Student Achievement

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  • Open Access
  • © 2020

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  • This open access book describes the evolution of the methodologies used in large-scale assessments in education
  • Examines the challenges posed in designing international large-scale assessments
  • Addresses issues related to the reliability and validity of the international comparisons conducted by IEA
  • Provides a guide to understanding and interpreting international large-scale assessments
  • Assesses the broad availability of international large-scale assessment data and associated analytical software tools

Part of the book series: IEA Research for Education (IEAR, volume 10)

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About this book

This open access book describes and reviews the development of the quality control mechanisms and methodologies associated with IEA’s extensive program of educational research. A group of renowned international researchers, directly involved in the design and execution of IEA’s international large-scale assessments (ILSAs), describe the operational and quality control procedures that are employed to address the challenges associated with providing high-quality, comparable data. 

Throughout the now considerable history of IEA’s international large-scale assessments, establishing the quality of the data has been paramount. Research in the complex multinational context in which IEA studies operate imposes significant burdens and challenges in terms of the methodologies and technologies that have been developed to achieve the stated study goals. The demands of the twin imperatives of validity and reliability must be satisfied in the context of multiple and diverse cultures, languages, orthographies, educational structures, educational histories, and traditions. 

Readers will learn about IEA’s approach to such challenges, and the methods used to ensure that the quality of the data provided to policymakers and researchers can be trusted. An often neglected area of investigation, namely the consequential validity of ILSAs, is also explored, examining issues related to reporting, dissemination, and impact, including discussion of the limits of interpretation. 

The final chapters address the question of the influence of ILSAs on policy and reform in education, including a case study from Singapore, a country known for its outstanding levels of achievement, but which nevertheless seeks the means of continual improvement, illustrating best practice use of ILSA data.

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Table of contents (15 chapters)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Newlands, Wellington, New Zealand

    Hans Wagemaker

About the editor

Dr Hans Wagemaker was the executive director of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement for 17 years, responsible for the management of all IEA international research and assessment projects and activities. He helped develop IEA’s Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and oversaw the development and expansion of IEA’s training and capacity building activities in low to middle income countries, and IEA’s educational consultancy services. Together with Educational Testing Services (ETS), he established the IEA Research Institute (IERI), where he continues to serve as a Board member.
Dr Wagemaker was a Senior Manager Research and International with the Ministry of Education, New Zealand, and represented New Zealand’s interests in the APEC Education Forum, UNESCO’s commissions, and the OECD, CERI, and the Education Governing Board. He has consulted for the Inter American Development Bank and UNESCO and worked extensively with the World Bank to advance a common interest in the uses of assessment for improving educational systems in developing countries. Most recently Dr Wagemaker served as an advisor to the Minister of Education for the Sultanate of Oman. He is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Center for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) for the government of New South Wales, Australia, the H Institute, Beirut, Lebanon, and continues in an advisory role with the IEA.
Dr Wagemaker holds BA and MA degrees from the University of Otago, New Zealand, and a PhD from the University of Illinois, where he was awarded a University Fellowship and, in 2009, the College of Education’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Reliability and Validity of International Large-Scale Assessment

  • Book Subtitle: Understanding IEA’s Comparative Studies of Student Achievement

  • Editors: Hans Wagemaker

  • Series Title: IEA Research for Education

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Education, Education (R0)

  • Copyright Information: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) 2020

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-53080-8Published: 04 September 2020

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-53083-9Published: 04 September 2021

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-53081-5Published: 03 September 2020

  • Series ISSN: 2366-1631

  • Series E-ISSN: 2366-164X

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XI, 277

  • Number of Illustrations: 9 b/w illustrations, 16 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Education, general, Educational Policy and Politics, International and Comparative Education, Curriculum Studies

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