Getting it 'better': The importance of improving background questionnaires in international large-scale assessment

  • Rutkowski L
  • Rutkowski D
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In addition to collecting achievement data, international large-scale assessment programmes gather auxiliary information from students and schools regarding the context of teaching and learning. In an effort to clarify some of the opacity surrounding international large-scale assessment programmes and the potential problems associated with less than optimal background questionnaires, this paper outlines how auxiliary student background data influence the black box of achievement score construction. This discussion is supplemented with a number of empirical examples that point to possible threats to accurate achievement estimation, including missing data treatment, poor scale reliability, and questionnaire respondents’ misunderstanding or inaccurate answers to the questions. Keywords:

Author-supplied keywords

  • Background questionnaires
  • International organizations
  • Large-scale assessment
  • PISA

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  • Leslie Rutkowski

  • David Rutkowski

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