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Voronovo Research Center hosts II International Summer School on the Theory and Practice of Developing Tests in Psychology and Education

How can you learn to start reviewing tests critically? How do you make good tests? How can you analyze the results of a teacher's evaluation? These and other issues were covered in the summer school organized by the Center for Monitoring Education Quality at HSE Institute of Education.

From July 20 to July 206, 2015, Voronovo research center hosted the II International Summer School on the Theory and Practice of Developing Tests in Psychology and Education, organized by the Centre for Monitoring Education Quality at HSE Institute of Education. Summer School teachers included Professor at Chicago University (U.S.) and the Center for Monitoring Education Quality's Elena Kardanova. This year, the Summer School placed particular focus on analyzing polytomous tasks covering a relatively broad spectrum of issues in test-development, from test planning to developing simple and complex forms to carrying out a psychometric analysis of the tasks set under classical and contemporary test theory.

The summer school attracted participants from six countries apart from Russia and the United States, including representatives of testing centers, certification centers, as well as teachers and students at universities in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan.

Although the summer school involved an eventful programme, there also was some spare time. The first day concluded with a celebration of national cultures. All the participants gathered in an auditorium and made presentation about their country for the others present, introducing their culture and particular features of its cuisine.

Here are some impressions of the Summer School's participants:

Тааlaibek Mamataliev, National Testing Center, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

In our center, I am responsible for information and analysis, and both parts of the summer school were useful for me. On the one hand, as an analyst who is not involved in creating tests I was interested in trying my hand at developing and studying tests. And now I have a completely different perception of that field. On the other hand, I learned a great deal about analysing tests. I think I will feel a lot more confident in analysing polytomous tasks, their characteristics, functional categories, and fairness of evaluation.

Lola Mansurova, National Testing Center, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

I am involved in developing tests, and therefore I was particularly interested in the first two days of the Summer School, when the focus was very much on specific examples and mistakes, and we learned how to approach the evaluation of test results.

Аkmaral Zhumykbaeva, Nazarbaev Intellectual School, Astana, Kazakhstan

The section of the school, which focused on psychological analysis, was the most important for me. I used mainly Excel to analyse test results before, but now, after trying specialised psychometric programmes, I want to incorporate them more into our work.

Asim Gasanov, Middle School Teacher, Baku, Azerbaijan

As a teacher I found this summer school really useful from the perspective of practical test development. What should the main parameters for good tests be? What is the optimum approach to measuring knowledge level in the classes I teach? How to analse the children's results of my tests and imrpove it as a tool in the best way possible? Now I have answers to these questions.

Olga Kremeznaya, Krasnoyarsk Center for Evaluating Education Quality, Krasnoyarsk

For me DIF (differential item functioning) was particularly interesting. Usually when we analyse data from test results we look at how gender and other factors impact test results. But DIF is a completely different approach, that makes it possible to drill down deeper into the task and consider how fair the task and test were as a whole in relation to the different groups of test subjects.