SLATE Guest Lecture: Eva Hartell

February 14, 2019

Comparative judgment – unpacking teachers' assessment practices





Dr. Eva Hartell


KTH Royal Institute of Technology & Haninge Kommune



When: 12 March, 2019 14:15-15;30,

Place: SLATE, Vektergården, Christiesgate 13, 3 etasje





All are welcome!



Dr Eva Hartell will summarise her research focusing on classroom formative assessment by reporting from two research studies that try to unpack teachers’ assessment practices. The presentation will also elaborate on the possible use of comparative judgement for formative purposes, and how comparative judgment can be a catalyst for discussion. Background: Comparative judgment is an assessment methodology where the judgers compare two pieces of student work and identify which one of them is better, without saying how much better it is. Their decision is based on quality of the work. Comparative judgement has been used in different settings, such as psychology and perfume making, and also quite recently also in educational settings. Comparative judgment stems from the work of Luis Thurstone who, in the 1920s, tried to find methods for measuring things that are difficult to measure – such as attitudes and opinions, for example how serious a crime is considered to be. Thurstone argued that while people find it hard to say how serious a crime is, they can compare one crime to another relatively easily and reliably in terms of which crime they think is more serious. He explained that when two phenomena are placed in comparison with one another, individuals could use their knowledge to compare and identify which qualities are superior with high fidelity. He showed that by repeatedly comparing pairs of items, a ranking could be made of all items assessed with very high reliability. Based on his studies, he formulated the Law of Comparative Judgment, which in short means that people are more reliable when comparing two stimuli, such as two crimes, than when giving an absolute value to a stimulus (Pollitt, 2012; Thurstone, 1927). Laming built on Thurstone's work and said that all assessment is a comparison of one thing to something else (Laming, 2004).

Eva Hartell is an experienced STEM teacher and holds a PhD in the area of classroom assessment. Her doctoral thesis concluded that affordance for teachers’ assessment practices must be increased. She has been very fortunate to work together with teachers, schools, and municipalities conducting practice-based research during her doctoral studies and afterwards as well. She is currently working with research and development, in the municipality of Haninge and at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, in Sweden. Her interest is to develop instruction in order to bridge teaching and learning in K–12 classrooms.



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