In the last months, several D-PAC try-outs have run. In these try-outs, assessments are set up in diverse organizations. For the organizations, the aim is to experiment with D-PAC. For us as a team, the try-outs are valuable to gain information on different aspects of D-PAC: the user-friendliness of the tool, how the tool can be embedded in real life situations and on how information out of D-PAC is used.
A few weeks ago, a try-out ran in College of Europe Bruges. A team of four docents used D-PAC to assess students’ competences regarding ‘briefing notes’. The try-out was especially interesting for the D-PAC team given the small number of assessors and the fact that the rank order would be used in students’ final mark on a course. The reliability of the rank order was sufficient at 0.71 (see Table 1).
Table 1: General statistics
|Number of representations||84|
|Number of comparisons||620|
|Number of assessors||4|
During the try-out, one assessor kept behind with the comparisons that had to be made. At that point, we noticed that the reliability of the rank order was already sufficient with 510 comparisons. The reliability of the rank order did not increase adding 100 comparisons of the specific assessor. Curious about why this was, we investigated the progress of the reliability over time. Figure 1 shows our findings, suggesting that for this specific try-out, 10 comparisons per representation were needed to reach a reliability measure of 0.70. Moreover, the measure of 0.70 turned out to be a border that would be difficult to cross.
Figure 1: Progress of reliability over time
Additionally, the team was interested in how the docents used the rank order to define the final marks. The head teacher told that they discussed the first and the last representation of the rank order (see figure 2). They decided what score was appropriate for these representations (8/20 for the last one and 18/20 for the first one). Subsequently, they scored the rest of the representations following the rank order with intervals of 0.5 point.
Asking the teachers of College of Europe Bruges for their experiences with D-PAC, they were very positive. D-PAC was perceived as clear and easy to use. According to the teachers, the method of comparative judgement was straightforward and appropriate for their assessing task. However, the teachers felt the need to provide more information than they could and suggested to include a pass/fail (or ‘very good’/ ‘very bad’) button and a “I cannot choose!” button.
The teachers perceived the time investment of the assessment via D-PAC as more or less the same as in previous assessments using other methods. But, the time investment in D-PAC was considered as better time for money, given the result of a reliable rank order.
Altogether, asking the teachers whether or not they would use D-PAC again for similar assessments in the future, they all agreed: “Yes!”. To conclude: the try-out partnering College of Europe Bruges turned out to be fruitful, both in terms of research findings as in terms of unrolling D-PAC in practice!