The Centre for Educational Testing for Access and Placement (CETAP) has progressively become the largest educational testing department in South Africa and uses the most up-to-date test processes, practices and measurement theories.
The special focus of the conference this year was learning to make a social difference. Learning is defined in its broadest sense as it relates to the acquisition of knowledge or skills through formal or informal educational practices of teaching, study, and experiential engagement. The critical concern here is that those practices are concerned with changing and improving social lives; harnessing the power of education to address inequality, discrimination, and disadvantage to promote social justice.
A new paper, written by University of Johannesburg's Zach Simpson, and CETAP's Test Development Coordinator, Robert Prince, entitled "Teaching, Learning, and Employing Analytical Frameworks as Performance: Analysis of a Quantitative Literacy Event in Applied Mechanics", has been published in the electronic journal, Designs for Learning.
Earlier this year, a large research project, funded by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, explored the predictive validity of the National Benchmark Tests (NBTs), something which had long been a source of dispute with different claims being made about them in different institutions.
Analysis of this data showed that:
Both the NBTs and the National Senior Certificate (NSC) had similar value in predicting performance at tertiary level; and
The NBTs had strong diagnostic value because of the way they are able to analyse students’ performance at a sub-domain level (i.e. performance within the broad constructs of ‘literacy’ and ‘mathematics’). The NSC simply cannot do this in its current form.
Having recently celebrated 15 years of service at Educational Testing Service (ETS) and serving as chair of the Executive Committee of the global social movement, Global Access to Postsecondary Education (GAPS), Catherine Millett has a wealth of experience in education. She sat down with us recently to provide some insight into the work she does, and to share her thoughts on the synergies between ETS, GAPS, and CETAP.