The aim of this study is to contribute to the body of knowledge on the use of contextual mathematical problems. Word problems are a predominant genre in mathematics classrooms in assessing students' ability to solve problems from everyday life. Research on word problems, however, reveals a range of difficulties in their use in mathematics education. In our research we took an alternative approach: we designed image-rich numeracy problems as alternatives for word problems. A set of word problems was modified by systematically replacing the descriptive representation of the problem situation by a more depictive representation and an instrument was designed to measure the effect of this modification on students' performance. The instrument can measure the effect of this alternative approach in a randomized controlled trial. In order to use the instrument at scale, we made this instrument also usable as a diagnostic test for an upcoming nationwide examination on numeracy. In this article we explain and discuss the design of the instrument and the validation of its intended uses.
Hoogland, K., Pepin, B., Bakker, A., de Koning, J., & Gravemeijer, K. (2016). Representing contextual mathematical problems in descriptive or depictive form: Design of an instrument and validation of its uses. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 50, 22–32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stueduc.2016.06.005