International large-scale assessments such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) or the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) have both altered the political landscape of how educational systems are evaluated and revolutionized the data that is available to empirically investigate skill development. With the recent shift towards computer- (and sometimes even tablet-) based assessment, the mission of these global assessments is rapidly moving beyond a mere summative assessment of core competencies and extends towards the use of big data and learning analytics. In this presentation, I will discuss recent developments in large-scale assessments, give some background of their historical development, and introduce a number of empirical examples on the use of behavioral data from international assessments. On this background, I will also discuss the challenges and the potentials coming along with the broad availability of learning analytics for educational policy and reporting that might, ultimately, lead to a revolution in the understanding of what we can learn about learning and skill development from educational large-scale assessments.
Samuel Greiff is Full Professor of Educational Assessment and Psychology at University of Luxembourg. He holds a PhD in cognitive and experimental psychology from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Prof Greiff has been awarded several research funds by diverse funding organizations, was fellow in the Luxembourg research programme of excellency, and has published articles in national and international scientific journals and books. He serves (or has served) as editor for several journals, for instance as editor-in-chief for European Journal of Psychological Assessment, as associate editor for Intelligence and Journal of Educational Psychology. His work mainly focuses on learning analytics, educational and psychological assessment, cognitive and non-cognitive skills, and education in the 21st century.