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See detailIntelligence as assessed by modern computer-based problem solving scenarios
Sonnleitner, Philipp UL; Brunner, Martin; Keller, Ulrich UL et al

Scientific Conference (2012)

Computer-based problem solving scenarios—so-called microworlds—have often been suggested as promising alternative assessment instruments of intelligence. Potential benefits compared to traditional paper ... [more ▼]

Computer-based problem solving scenarios—so-called microworlds—have often been suggested as promising alternative assessment instruments of intelligence. Potential benefits compared to traditional paper-pencil tests involve tracking of students’ mental representations of the problems as well as their problem solving strategies by means of behavioral data. Though, it is still topic of ongoing debate whether the skills assessed by such microworlds are distinct from or identical to the construct of intelligence as measured by conventional reasoning tests. To address this issue, we thoroughly investigated construct and incremental validity of a recently developed microworld, the Genetics Lab (Sonnleitner et. al, 2011). We obtained data from a multilingual and representative Luxembourgish student sample (N = 563) who completed the Genetics Lab and 3 reasoning scales of an established intelligence test battery. Results of a Confirmatory Factor Analysis suggest that the construct assessed by the Genetics Lab is largely identical to the construct of intelligence as measured by traditional reasoning scales. Incremental validity was found with respect to the performance in a national assessment of students’ competencies and performance in the PISA study of 2009. Thus, the notion of microworlds to be a valuable measure of intelligence is supported. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Genetics Lab. Acceptance and psychometric characteristics of a computer-based microworld to assess Complex Problem Solving
Sonnleitner, Philipp UL; Brunner, Martin; Greiff, Samuel UL et al

in Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling (2012), 54

Computer-based problem solving scenarios or “microworlds” are contemporary assessment instruments frequently used to assess students’ complex problem solving behavior – a key aspect of today’s educational ... [more ▼]

Computer-based problem solving scenarios or “microworlds” are contemporary assessment instruments frequently used to assess students’ complex problem solving behavior – a key aspect of today’s educational curricula and assessment frameworks. Surprisingly, almost nothing is known about their (1) acceptance or (2) psychometric characteristics in student populations. This article introduces the Genetics Lab (GL), a newly developed microworld, and addresses this lack of empirical data in two studies. Findings from Study 1, with a sample of 61 ninth graders, show that acceptance of the GL was high and that the internal consistencies of the scores obtained were satisfactory. In addition, meaningful intercorrelations between the scores supported the instrument’s construct validity. Study 2 drew on data from 79 ninth graders in differing school types. Large to medium correlations with figural and numerical reasoning scores provided evidence for the instrument’s construct validity. In terms of external validity, substantial correlations were found between academic performance and scores on the GL, most of which were higher than those observed between academic performance and the reasoning scales administered. In sum, this research closes an important empirical gap by (1) proving acceptance of the GL and (2) demonstrating satisfactory psychometric properties of its scores in student populations. [less ▲]

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See detailA developmental investigation of the SNARC effect using a colour discrimination task.
Hoffmann, Danielle UL; Hornung, Caroline UL; Mussolin, Christophe et al

Poster (2012)

How do number-space interactions develop from childhood to adulthood? The SNARC effect (Spatial Numerical Association of Response Codes) reflects the finding that participants respond faster to small ... [more ▼]

How do number-space interactions develop from childhood to adulthood? The SNARC effect (Spatial Numerical Association of Response Codes) reflects the finding that participants respond faster to small numbers with their left hand and to large numbers with their right hand during a number classification task. Typically assessed through magnitude-independent parity judgment tasks, the SNARC effect is thought to show the automaticity of the number-space link. Using a parity task on children Berch et al. (1999) found a SNARC effect no earlier than from 9.2 years onwards. However, we hypothesise that parity judgments might be inappropriate to assess younger children. Therefore a more age-appropriate colour judgment task (implicit) and a magnitude judgement task (explicit) were designed and tested on 363 children from kindergarten to Grade 6 (5.8-12 years). The experimental tasks were complemented by a brief assessment of arithmetic skills. The results revealed overall significant SNARC effects [colour task t(355)=2.6, p<0.01; magnitude task t(340)=4.7, p<0.001], which interacted with grade [colour task F(6,355)=2.18; p<0.05; magnitude task F(6,340)=2.09; p=0.05]. Most interestingly, even the kindergartners already display both effects [colour task t(28)=1.96; p<0.05; magnitude task t(24)=1.7; p=0.05]. These results show explicit and implicit access to numerical magnitude in children as young as 5.8 years. [less ▲]

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See detailPeer‐Review im Rahmen des DACHL – Konzeptvorschlag
Fischbach, Antoine UL; Martin, Romain UL

Presentation (2011, October)

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See detailItem‐Austausch im Rahmen des DACHL – Konzeptvorschlag
Fischbach, Antoine UL; Martin, Romain UL

Presentation (2011, October)

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See detailLänderbericht Luxemburg: Épreuves Standardisées
Fischbach, Antoine UL; Martin, Romain UL

Presentation (2011, October)

Detailed reference viewed: 66 (2 UL)
See detailWorking memory in 5-to-7 year-old children: Its structure and relationship to fluid intelligence
Hornung, Caroline UL; Brunner, Martin UL; Reuter, Robert UL et al

Scientific Conference (2011, August 24)

Working memory (WM) has been predominantly studied in adults. The insights provided by these studies have led to the development of competing theories on the structure of WM and conflicting conclusions on ... [more ▼]

Working memory (WM) has been predominantly studied in adults. The insights provided by these studies have led to the development of competing theories on the structure of WM and conflicting conclusions on how strongly WM components are related to higher order thinking skills such as fluid intelligence (GF). However, it remains unclear whether and to what extent the theories and findings derived from adult data generalize to children. The purpose of the present study was therefore to investigate WM in 5-to-7-year-old children (N = 161). Specifically, we examined different structural models of WM and how its components, as defined in these models, are related to GF. Our results suggest that children draw on both domain- general and domain-specific processes when performing memory span. Crucially, our findings indicate that domain-general processes result in a core storage capacity that primarily explains the relationship between WM and GF. Based on these observations we discuss the theoretical and methodological issues that arise when children’s WM is investigated. [less ▲]

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See detailRelationships between number and space processing in adults with and without dyscalculia
Mussolin, Christophe; Martin, Romain UL; Schiltz, Christine UL

in Acta Psychologica (2011), 138

A large body of evidence indicates clear relationships between number and space processing in healthy and brain-damaged adults, as well as in children. The present paper addressed this issue regarding ... [more ▼]

A large body of evidence indicates clear relationships between number and space processing in healthy and brain-damaged adults, as well as in children. The present paper addressed this issue regarding atypical math development. Adults with a diagnosis of dyscalculia (DYS) during childhood were compared to adults with average or high abilities in mathematics across two bisection tasks. Participants were presented with Arabic number triplets and had to judge either the number magnitude or the spatial location of the middle number relative to the two outer numbers. For the numerical judgment, adults with DYS were slower than both groups of control peers. They were also more strongly affected by the factors related to number magnitude such as the range of the triplets or the distance between the middle number and the real arithmetical mean. By contrast, adults with DYS were as accurate and fast as adults who never experienced math disability when they had to make a spatial judgment. Moreover, number–space congruency affected performance similarly in the three experimental groups. These findings support the hypothesis of a deficit of number magnitude representation in DYS with a relative preservation of some spatial mechanisms in DYS. Results are discussed in terms of direct and indirect number–space interactions. [less ▲]

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See detailReading comprehension strategies of biliterate students in German and French
Ugen, Sonja UL; Brunner, Martin UL; Fischbach, Antoine UL et al

Scientific Conference (2011, July)

Detailed reference viewed: 115 (13 UL)
See detailExecutive functions, language, and socio-economic status
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL; Nikaedo, C; Abreu, N et al

Scientific Conference (2011, June)

Detailed reference viewed: 116 (3 UL)
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See detailWhen numbers act as attentional cues: behavioral and fMRI investigations
Goffaux, Valerie; Hoffmann, Danielle UL; Martin, Romain UL et al

Poster (2011, February 11)

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See detailLongitudinal predictors of early mathematics: Number-specific versus domain-general mechanisms?
Hornung, Caroline UL; Brunner, Martin; Schiltz, Christine UL et al

Poster (2011, February 11)

Longitudinal predictors of early mathematics: Number-specific versus domain-general mechanisms? What is a good basis for developing mathematical competencies? While some authors propose that number ... [more ▼]

Longitudinal predictors of early mathematics: Number-specific versus domain-general mechanisms? What is a good basis for developing mathematical competencies? While some authors propose that number-specific abilities primarily contribute to early math development, other authors suggest that domain-general abilities are key. [less ▲]

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See detailChallenges of modern Computer Based Assessment: Usability, Scoring, and “Digital Natives”
Sonnleitner, Philipp UL; Brunner, Martin; Keller, Ulrich UL et al

Scientific Conference (2011)

In recent years, computer based assessment has undergone substantive change. Test developers as well as test users have become aware of the fact that computers can do more than administrate traditional ... [more ▼]

In recent years, computer based assessment has undergone substantive change. Test developers as well as test users have become aware of the fact that computers can do more than administrate traditional (paper-pencil) item formats like multiple-choice. More complex computer based item types allow tracking test takers’ mental representations of the problem or even their problem solving strategies by means of behavioral data. An example for such a modern item type are microworlds – dynamically changing problem solving scenarios with which the test taker has to interact. However, with the advent of complex item types, new challenges arise. First, usability is at stake - test takers do not intuitively know what to do or how to interact with complex tasks. Second, a massive load of data is produced and it gets difficult for the test developer to decide on relevant scores. Third, today’s students - so-called “digital natives”- grew up with computers and therefore set high quality standards for software applications. They may quickly loose trust and interest in tests with old fashioned design, cumbersome handling or even malfunctioning software. On basis of the Genetics Lab – a microworld developed to assess general mental ability – these challenges of modern computer based assessment are discussed. Three consecutive small scale studies were carried out to investigate usability issues, validate scoring algorithms and to ensure acceptance among students. The results demonstrate the importance of considering usability during the test development process, particularly with regard to scoring. The modification of conventional test development procedures for modern computer based assessment is suggested. Moreover, possibilities to satisfy even a critical target population are presented. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Genetics Lab - A new Computer-Based Problem Solving Scenario to assess Intelligence
Sonnleitner, Philipp UL; Brunner, Martin; Keller, Ulrich UL et al

Scientific Conference (2011)

Assessments of intelligence by means of paper-pencil tests faced several critiques that point to their lack of face validity, insufficient coverage of the definition of intelligence, their sensitivity to ... [more ▼]

Assessments of intelligence by means of paper-pencil tests faced several critiques that point to their lack of face validity, insufficient coverage of the definition of intelligence, their sensitivity to the emotional state of the test taker, and the danger of getting outdated. The present paper discusses to what extent these limitations can be overcome by computer-based problem solving scenarios–so-called microworlds. Generally speaking, microworlds are supposed to be highly accepted by test takers, to provide process measures by directly tracing problem solving behavior, and to realize game-like characteristics that may increase test motivation and reduce test anxiety. To capitalize on these potential advantages, we developed the microworld Genetics Lab that was completed by a large, heterogeneous sample of more than 600 Luxembourgish students. Performance scores were derived for students’ problem solving strategies as well as their mental problem representations–important cognitive data which are not accessible with typical paper-pencil tests. Analyses of the psychometric characteristics of the Genetics Lab empirically underscored the construct validity for the derived performance scores. For example, process oriented measures of strategy use were found to possess discriminant validity with respect to grades. Further, acceptance and induced test anxiety of the Genetics lab was explored relative to a paper-pencil measure of intelligence. Our results show that the Genetics Lab is a reliable and valid assessment instrument and emphasize the benefits of using microworlds for assessing intelligence. [less ▲]

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See detailUne nouvelle perspective et de nouveaux défis pour les enquêtes internationales : vers un testing assité par ordinateur
Martin, Romain UL; Blais, Jean-Guy

in Mesure et Evaluation en Education (2011), 34(2), 87-112

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See detailAssessing Intelligence for Education in the 21st Century: The Benefits of Microworlds
Sonnleitner, Philipp UL; Brunner, Martin; Keller, Ulrich UL et al

Scientific Conference (2011)

Computer-based problem solving scenarios—so-called microworlds—are contemporary educational assessment instruments of intelligence that offer several benefits compared to traditional paper-pencil tests ... [more ▼]

Computer-based problem solving scenarios—so-called microworlds—are contemporary educational assessment instruments of intelligence that offer several benefits compared to traditional paper-pencil tests. This involves tracking of students’ mental representations of the problems as well as their problem solving strategies by means of behavioral data which provides key information for educational interventions. Moreover, microworlds realize game-like characteristics that may increase test motivation and reduce test anxiety. In the present study, the Genetics Lab, a newly developed microworld, was completed by a representative sample of more than 800 Luxembourgish students. Students chose among three different languages (German, French and English) in which the problem content of the Genetics Lab was presented. The present paper analyzes the psychometric properties of the various performance scores derived for the Genetics Lab with respect to their relations to school grades, and measurement invariance across gender, chosen test language, and migration background. Moreover, a direct comparison with traditional measures of intelligence demonstrated construct validity of the performance scores of the Genetics Lab. In sum, the results obtained for the Genetics Lab show the benefits of behavioral data obtained for computer-based problem-solving scenarios and support the notion of microworlds to be a valuable measure of intelligence. [less ▲]

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