Issue 1/2017, 23. Volume Page 92–112
Developments and methodological challenges in international large-scale assessments in education: An IEA perspective
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Ongoing societal and technological developments in education and changes in the global debate about education continue to promote the value of international large-scale assessments (ILSAs) in education. ILSAs are expanding their sphere of influence, evolving to cover novel target populations and subject domains. Advances in the methods and technology available to collect, scale, and analyze data present continuous methodological challenges, but also foster rapid developments of the methodological research and respective technology. Most ILSAs in education are now enforcing a transition to computer-based assessment. Recent research has suggested new approaches for addressing nonresponse, novel methods to improve measurement invariance evaluation, and explored innovative methodologies for statistical data analyses. This paper reflects on IEA’s extensive experience of ILSA research to identify the most important contemporary challenges, contextualized by historical developments. The authors discuss these developments considering their potentials, drawing conclusions and giving recommendations on best practice.