Achievement tests from an item perspective: An exploration of single item data from the PISA and TIMSS studies, and how such data can inform us about students’ knowledge and thinking in science

University of Oslo, Norway

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This thesis presents secondary analyses of data from the PISA. What is the nature of the information in the cognitive science items in PISA? And what is the analytical potential of this information? These two questions capture the overall goals and purposes of the dissertation.

In the first of the three published papers included in the thesis the fundamental rationale for studying single items is developed based on science item data from TIMSS. The second paper follows up the first by analysing the categorical information in a set of items in PISA framed by the same stimulus material. The third paper establishes that the information in the items may be used to describe qualitative differences in students’ thinking and knowledge in science across the countries participating in PISA.

One overall message in the thesis is that large-scale international comparative achievement studies do not only provide high-quality data of students’ overall science achievement across the world. There is also a fine-structure in the data across the single items. It is envisaged that these data may also be used in secondary analyses targeting more specific research questions within the research field of science education across the world.

Department of School Development and Teacher Education, Faculty of Education,

University of Oslo, Norway. Unipub: Oslo

Pdf-version available at 
Language: English
ISSN: 1501-8962
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