Socio-demographic differences in the impact of beliefs upon achievement - Non-invariance by sex, age, and ethnicity in conceptions of assessment upon achievement Event as iCalendar

(School of Social Sciences)

13 May 2016

3 - 4pm

Venue: Room 104, Fale Pasifika Complex (273-104)

Contact info: Dr Barry Milne

Contact email:

Website: COMPASS

Professor Gavin Brown, Faculty of Education and Social Work

Student beliefs about the purposes and nature of assessment have been examined using the Student Conceptions of Assessment inventory (SCoA-Version 2). The four beliefs (i.e., assessment makes students accountable, assessment evaluates schools, assessment is enjoyable, assessment is irrelevant) have substantial impact upon test scores (R2≈.25). In a survey of New Zealand secondary (Years 9-12) students (N=3,506), the factor structure of the SCoA-2 inventory was equivalent across student sex, year-level, and ethnicity. However, using multiple group invariance testing in a structural equation model, statistically significant differences for sex, year, and ethnicity were found for how the four conceptions of assessment related to academic performance in reading. It is argued that these differences do not indicate a deficiency in the SCoA inventory but, rather, demonstrate sensitivity to real-world differences among subgroups. The structural differences can be understood in terms of sex differences in approaches to learning, year differences in experience with the New Zealand national qualifications assessment system, and ethnic differences in experience of bias and prejudice in schooling. This study was published as: Hirschfeld, G. H. F., & Brown, G. T. L. (2009). Students’ conceptions of assessment: Factorial and structural invariance of the SCoA across sex, age, and ethnicity. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 25(1), 30-38. doi: 10.1027/1015-5759.25.1.30

Professor Gavin Brown is the Director of the Quantitative Data Analysis and Research Unit in the Faculty of Education and Social Work. His research revolves around testing, assessment, psychometrics, and social and psychological responses to and effects of assessment. He is the lead editor of the forthcoming Handbook of Human and Social Conditions in Assessment published by Routledge.

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