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A problematic leap in the use of test data: From performance to inference

Gabrielle Matters, ACER


Despite all the rhetoric about the new millennium, few assessment issues thus far belong exclusively to the 21st century. An issue spilling over from the 20th century is the demand for schools and teachers to use assessment information to improve student achievement and enhance educational systems more generally. Among the myriad possible mechanisms for improving student achievement through the efficient use of assessment information by schools and teachers is feedback to the student learning process along with enhancement of teachers' pedagogical repertories. When the assessment instrument is a standardised test, the product (student responses) gives the information not only about what was learnt and how well it was learnt but also about what was not learnt and hints as to why this might be so.

Suggested Citation

Gabrielle Matters. "A problematic leap in the use of test data: From performance to inference" Educational Assessment in the 21st Century: Connecting Theory and Practice. Ed. C. Wyatt-Smith, Claire and J. Cumming. Dordrecht: Springer International, 2009. 209-225.