IntroductionA national assessment project runs in total over four school years. If a national assessment is conducted in May or June of year P, then the preparation of the national assessment starts in January of year P-2. A national assessment is closed in December of the year following the national assessment. Throughout the entire duration of a national assessment project, a national assessment is followed by the follow-up groups and steering committee organized by the education ministry. A project is divided into four different phases. In every phase of a national assessment project, the expert group comes together to provide input from the educational field. Click on the figure to get more explanation for each phase.
The government determines the national assesment calendar and which learning or subject domain should be assessed by STEP. In the preparation phase, we delineate, in consultation with the client, which final attainment goals of the relevant learning or subject field are assessed and how this will be done: via written or practical tests. We investigate “what is alive” about evaluating the domain in question in the field of education and we also look at a broader, international context of other large-scale educational assessments and the scientific literature.
The test development phase takes approximately an entire school year. The test developers develop test assignments and practical tests. Various pilot studies are being conducted to guarantee and optimize the quality of the instruments. On the one hand, the test assignments are presented to a limited group of pupils. On the other hand, education experts assess the test assignments. After the adaptation of the assignments, a large-scale calibration study is set up.
The test assignments are presented to a representative sample of pupils to determine the difficulty of the assignments. Based on this calibration a national assessment and a parallel test are compiled. The practical tests are also tried out on pupils in different pilot samples and are assessed by experts for their value.
Much of attention is also paid to drawing up the assessment requirements.
Here you will find the instruction video that is used in the pilot phase of the critical thinking and media literacy secondary education national assessment project
The developed tests are taken from a representative sample of schools and pupils at the end of the school year. An assessment assistant supervises the test taking in each school. When the data are entered, various statistical analyzes are performed. A group of experts from the educational field also determines for each test where the pass limit must be set for sufficient mastery of the final objectives. This is the pass limit determination After the publication of the basic results of the national assessment on the basis of a “factsheet” in spring, there is an extensive consultation of the educational field.
In the year after the national assessment, the policy research center organizes a study and meeting day on which the results of the national assessment are explained on the basis of additional analyzes of the data. Various stakeholders from the educational field also give their views on what is good about the national assessment results and where improvement is needed. In fall, a reflection day will follow that is organised by AHOVOKS to reflect on the implications of the national assessment for education in general and the final objectives in particular. Finally, STEP presents and publishes the national assessment results on various forums in order to stimulate the educational field to get to work with the results.