Ensuring comparability of instruments in international assessments Miss Bethan Burge

Ensuring comparability of instruments in international assessments Miss Bethan Burge

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Ensuring comparability of instruments in international assessments Miss Bethan Burge

The success of large scale international surveys is dependent on gathering robust data that allows for reliable cross country comparisons. Ensuring students in all participating countriesreceive equivalent test and questionnaire items, regardless of the language in which they are being tested, is a vital element of every international survey. However, adaptations are sometimes necessary in order to make instruments accessible and appropriate for students ina particular participating country. Each international survey, therefore, imposes particularrequirements on participating countries to ensure that such adaptations do not adversely impact on the comparability of the data gathered. This paper will explore:•, the procedures used internationally to check the comparability of both translations and adaptations•, examples of adaptations made to both test and questionnaire items in the UK (using released items from some of the international surveys, for example PISA, TIMSS and PIRLS)•, the tension between making an item suitable for use in one country and maintaining ,comparability with all other participating countries.

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