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See detailFairness as seen by students - a differentiated look at perceived assessment fairness by 7th and 9th graders in Luxembourg
Sonnleitner, Philipp UL; Inostroza Fernandez, Pamela Isabel UL; Wollschläger, Rachel UL

Scientific Conference (2022, November 10)

Assessment is probably the central factor in every educational biography: On the one hand, through direct consequences for school career decisions, on the other hand, through repercussions on each ... [more ▼]

Assessment is probably the central factor in every educational biography: On the one hand, through direct consequences for school career decisions, on the other hand, through repercussions on each student’s self-concept in the respective subject, for one's own work behavior and the perception of institutional fairness in general. A crucial factor is the subjective, perceived fairness of assessment, which has been shown to influence students' satisfaction, motivation, and attitudes toward learning (Chory-Assad, 2002; Wendorf & Alexander, 2005). The current study examines how Luxembourgish students experience fairness of assessment on the basis of representative samples of the 7iéme (N > 700 students) and 9iéme/ 5iéme (N > 2200, 35% of the total cohort) and gives a first insight into the connection with school interest and self-concept. Special attention is given to the heterogeneity of the Luxembourgish student population: the extent to which language background, socioeconomic status, and gender are related to these perceptions of fairness will be analyzed. Data was collected as part of the nationwide Épreuves standardisées in fall 2021 using the Fairness Barometer (Sonnleitner & Kovacs, 2020) - a standardized instrument to measure informational and procedural fairness in student assessment. The analyses are theoretically based on Classroom Justice Theory and educational psychology (Chory-Assad and Paulsel, 2004; Chory, 2007; Duplaga & Astani, 2010) and utilize latent variable models (SEM) to study the complex interplay between perceived assessment practices and students’ school-related motivational factors. The insights offered by this study are internationally unique in their scope and provide a first glimpse on fairness perceptions of groups of Luxembourgish students in known disadvantaged situations. Results aim to sensitize especially active teachers and educators to the central importance of assessment in schools and offer some concrete advice how to improve it. References: Chory, R. M. (2007). Enhancing student perceptions of fairness: the relationship between instructor credibility and classroom justice. Commun. Educ. 56, 89–105. doi: 10.1080/03634520600994300 Chory-Assad, R. M., and Paulsel, M. L. (2004). Classroom justice: student aggression and resistance as reactions to perceived unfairness. Commun. Educ. 53, 253–273. doi: 10.1080/0363452042000265189 Chory-Assad, R. M. (2002). Classroom justice: perceptions of fairness as a predictor of student motivation, learning, and aggression. Commun. Q. 50, 58–77. doi: 10.1080/01463370209385646 Duplaga, E. A., and Astani, M. (2010). An exploratory study of student perceptions of which classroom policies are fairest. Decision Sci. J. Innov. Educ. 8, 9–33. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4609.2009.00241.x Sonnleitner, P., & Kovacs, C. (2020, February). Differences between students’ and teachers’ fairness perceptions: Exploring the potential of a self-administered questionnaire to improve teachers’ assessment practices. In Frontiers in Education (Vol. 5, p. 17). Frontiers Media SA. Wendorf, C. A., and Alexander, S. (2005). The influence of individual- and class-level fairness-related perceptions on student satisfaction. Contemp. Educ. Psychol. 30, 190–206. doi: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2004.07.003 [less ▲]

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See detailGender and diversity representations in textbooks in Luxembourgish secondary education.
Kerger, Sylvie UL; Pianaro, Enrica UL; Schadeck, Claire UL

Poster (2022, November 10)

Teaching materials, and particularly textbooks, play an essential role in the socialisation of children through the communication of values. As „textbooks are not a reflection of reality, but an ... [more ▼]

Teaching materials, and particularly textbooks, play an essential role in the socialisation of children through the communication of values. As „textbooks are not a reflection of reality, but an arrangement of the representation of a society that they legitimise” (Brugeilles & Cromer, 2008, p.42), we argue that they contribute to challenging, perpetuating, or increasing gender inequalities. The results of our first study on Luxemburgish primary school textbooks, already published, indicate an androcentric view (Kerger & Brasseur, 2021). In every textbook, we counted more male than female characters in the texts and the illustrations. Men are more often represented in professional activities, while women are more likely to perform domestic activities. The celebrities represented are more often men than women. This poster presents the results of history textbooks in secondary school. It shows an ethnocentric perspective on the representation of non-white characters and those with disabilities. People with disabilities are almost exclusively portrayed when disability as a subject is being discussed. Use of racist language. These representations do not transmit the realities of societal complexities and they contribute to the marginalization and discrimination of non-white people and people with disabilities. [less ▲]

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See detailTowards a fairer assessment of cognitive abilities in multilingual children
Kijamet, Dzenita UL; Ugen, Sonja UL

Scientific Conference (2022, November 10)

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See detailSchool Segregation in Primary and Secondary Education in Luxembourg: Track Placement and Academic Achievement
Pit-Ten Cate, Ineke UL; Hadjar, Andreas UL; Alieva, Aigul et al

Scientific Conference (2022, November 09)

Known as a highly stratified education system with early tracking (similar to Dutch, German, Austrian, and German-speaking Swiss systems), Luxembourg features additional properties that add to its ... [more ▼]

Known as a highly stratified education system with early tracking (similar to Dutch, German, Austrian, and German-speaking Swiss systems), Luxembourg features additional properties that add to its complexity in the educational realm (Backes & Hadjar, 2017). It is a simultaneously multilingual system that also has the largest share of students born outside of Luxembourg or parents born abroad. While most migrants come from within Europe, they frequently come from either a particularly high or low socio-economic background. It has been scientifically established that the educational inequalities in Luxembourg are driven mostly by social origin and immigration/language background. Gender is another critical dimension of disadvantage; for example, boys are less motivated to obtain higher education than girls (Hadjar, Scharf, & Hascher, 2021). In addition, gender often intersects with other factors such as immigrant background in shaping disadvantages. However, evidence shows that – beyond individual background characteristics – schools’ social composition also perpetuates inequalities in student achievement (Martins & Veiga, 2010). Therefore, we focus on the role of school-level segregation on student’s academic outcomes over time using data of a longitudinal cohort from the School Monitoring Programme (Éprueve Standardisée (ÉpStan)) with 5097 students in Grade 3 observed in 2013 and later in Grade 9 observed in 2019 (regular pathways) and 2020 and 2021 (irregular pathways, i.e., class repetitions). School segregation is an aggregate measure of the proportion of students who belong to low socio-economic background and the proportion of students born abroad and/or do not speak instruction language at home. Our contribution aims to provide insights into the following questions: 1. Does school-level segregation in primary education (G3) predict student’s track placement in secondary education? 2. Does school-level segregation in primary education (G3) predict student’s math and German achievement in secondary education (G9)? 3. How strongly are achievement outcomes in G9 correlated with within- and between-track segregation in G9? The findings will serve as a complementary base for tailored policy making with respect to the long-term impact of school composition for teaching and learning, especially within a tracked school system. References Becker, S., & Hadjar, A. (2017). Educational trajectories through secondary education in Luxembourg: How does permeability affect educational inequalities? Schweizerische Zeitschrift Für Bildungswissenschaften, 39(3), 437–460. https://doi.org/10.25656/01:16659 Hadjar, A., Scharf, J., & Hascher, T. (2021). Who aspires to higher education? Axes of inequality, values of education and higher education aspirations in secondary schools in Luxembourg and the Swiss Canton of Bern. European Journal of Education, 56(1), 9–26. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejed.12435 Martins, L., & Veiga, P. (2010). Do inequalities in parents’ education play an important role in PISA students’ mathematics achievement test score disparities? Economics of Education Review, 29(6), 1016–1033. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econedurev.2010.05.001 [less ▲]

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See detailOPTOELECTRONIC PROPERTIES OF CU(IN,GA)SE2 SINGLE CRYSTALS WITH ALKALI POSTDEPOSITION TREATMENTS
Ramirez Sanchez, Omar UL

Doctoral thesis (2022)

With a record power conversion efficiency of 23.35% and a low carbon footprint, Cu(In,Ga)Se2 remains as one of the most suitable solar energy materials to assist in the mitigation of the climate crisis we ... [more ▼]

With a record power conversion efficiency of 23.35% and a low carbon footprint, Cu(In,Ga)Se2 remains as one of the most suitable solar energy materials to assist in the mitigation of the climate crisis we are currently facing. The progress seen in the last decade of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 advancement, has been made possible by the development of postdeposition treatments (PDTs) with heavy alkali metals. PDTs are known to affect both surface and bulk properties of the absorber, resulting in an improvement of the solar cell parameters open-circuit voltage, short-circuit current density and fill factor. Even though the beneficial effects of PDTs are not questioned, the underlying mechanisms responsible for the improvement, mainly the one related to the open-circuit voltage, are still under discussion. Although such improvement has been suggested to arise from a suppression of bulk recombination, the complex interplay between alkali metals and grain boundaries has complicated the labour to discern what exactly in the bulk material is profiting the most from the PDTs. In this regard, the development of this thesis aims at investigating the effects of PDTs on the bulk properties of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 single crystals, i.e., to study the effects of alkali metals in the absence of grain boundaries. Most of the presented analyses are based on photoluminescence, since this technique allows to get access to relevant information for solar cells such as the quasi-Fermi level splitting and the density of tail states directly from the absorber layer, and without the need of complete devices. This work is a cumulative thesis of three scientific publications obtained from the results of the different studies carried out. Each publication aims at answering important questions related to the intrinsic properties of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 and the effects of PDTs. The first publication presents a thorough investigation on the effects of a single heavy alkali metal species on the optoelectronic properties of Cu(In,Ga)Se2. In the case of polycrystalline absorbers, the effects of potassium PDTs in the absence of sodium have been previously attributed to the passivation of grain boundaries and donor-like defects. The obtained results, however, suggest that potassium incorporated from a PDT can act as a dopant in the absence of grain boundaries and yield an improvement in quasi-Fermi level splitting of up to 30 meV in Cu-poor CuInSe2, where a type inversion from N-to-P is triggered upon potassium incorporation. This observation led to the second paper, where a closer look was taken to how the carrier concentration and electrical conductivity of alkali-free Cu-poor CuInSe2 is affected by the incorporation of gallium in the solid solution Cu(In,Ga)Se2. The results obtained suggest that the N-type character of CuInSe2 can remain as such until the gallium content reaches the critical concentration of 15-19%, where the N-to-P transition occurs. A model based on the trends in formation energies of donor and acceptor-like defects is presented to explain the experimental results. The conclusions drawn in this paper shed light on why CuGaSe2 cannot be doped N-type like CuInSe2. Since a decreased density of tail states as a result of reduced band bending at grain boundaries had been previously pointed out as the mechanism behind the improvement of the open-circuit voltage after postdeposition treatments, the third publication focusses on how compositional variations and alkali incorporation affect the density of tail states of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 single crystals. The results presented in this paper suggest that increasing the copper and reducing the gallium content leads to the reduction of tail states. Furthermore, it is observed that tail states in single crystals are similarly affected by the addition of alkali metals as in the case of polycrystalline absorbers, which demonstrates that tail states arise from grain interior properties and that the role of grain boundaries is not as relevant as it was thought. Finally, an analysis of the voltage losses in high-efficiency polycrystalline and single crystalline solar cells, suggested that the doping effect caused by the alkalis affects the density of tail states through the reduction of electrostatic potential fluctuations, which are reduced due to a decrease in the degree of compensation. By taking the effect of doping on tail sates into account, the entirety of the VOC losses in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 is described. The findings presented in this thesis explain the link between tail states and open circuit voltage losses and demonstrate that the effects of alkali metals in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 go beyond grain boundary passivation. The results presented shed light on the understanding of tail states, VOC losses and the intrinsic properties of Cu(In,Ga)Se2, which is a fundamental step in this technology towards the development of more efficient devices. [less ▲]

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See detailA Legal Study of the Future of Chinese Infrastructure Development in the Western Balkans in the Light of the EU Rebuilding of Ukraine
Gubenko, Stanislav UL

in The University of Oxford, “China, Law and Development” project (CLD) (2022), (7),

The paper seeks to find out whether the successful EU rebuilding of Ukraine according to European standards can become a game-changer in the competition between Chinese and European infrastructure ... [more ▼]

The paper seeks to find out whether the successful EU rebuilding of Ukraine according to European standards can become a game-changer in the competition between Chinese and European infrastructure development initiatives in the Western Balkans. [less ▲]

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See detailLie superalgebras of Krichever-Novikov type and their central extensions
Schlichenmaier, Martin UL

Presentation (2022, November 02)

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See detail#Involution - Didaktischer Kommentar
Harion, Dominic UL; Kiefer, Ann UL

E-print/Working paper (2022)

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See detail#Discover Life on Mars with a Rover - Didaktischer Kommentar
Baumann, Sandra UL; Harion, Dominic UL; Kiefer, Ann UL

E-print/Working paper (2022)

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See detailUsing Diagnostic Classification Models to map first graders’ cognitive development pathways in the Luxembourgish school monitoring program: a pilot study in the domain of numbers & operations
Inostroza Fernandez, Pamela Isabel UL; Michels, Michael Andreas UL; Sonnleitner, Philipp UL

Scientific Conference (2022, November)

Educational large-scale assessments aim to evaluate school systems’ effectiveness by typically looking at aggregated levels of students’ performance. The developed assessment tools or tests are not ... [more ▼]

Educational large-scale assessments aim to evaluate school systems’ effectiveness by typically looking at aggregated levels of students’ performance. The developed assessment tools or tests are not intended or optimized to be used for diagnostic purposes on an individual level. In most cases, the underlying theoretical framework is based on national curricula and therefore too blurry for diagnostic test construction, and test length is too short to draw reliable inferences on individual level. This lack of individual information is often unsatisfying, especially for participating students and teachers who invest a considerable amount of time and effort, not to speak about the tremendous organizational work needed to realize such assessments. The question remains, if the evaluation could not be used in an optimized way to offer more differentiated information on students’ specific skills. The present study explores the potential of Diagnostic Classification Models (DCM) in this regard, since they offer crucial information for policy makers, educators, and students themselves. Instead of a ranking of, e.g., an overall mathematics ability, student mastery profiles of subskills are identified in DCM, providing a rich base for further targeted interventions and instruction (Rupp, Templin & Henson, 2010; von Davier, M., & Lee, Y. S., 2019). A prerequisite for applying such models is well-developed, and cognitively described items that map the assessed ability on a fine-grained level. In the present study, we drew on 104 items that were developed on base of detailed cognitive item models for basic Grade 1 competencies, such as counting, as well as decomposition and addition with low numbers and high numbers (Fuson, 1988, Fritz & Ricken, 2008, Krajewski & Schneider, 2009). Those items were spread over a main test plus 6 different test booklets and administered to a total of 5963 first graders within the Luxembourgish national school monitoring Épreuves standardisées. Results of this pilot study are highly promising, giving information about different student’s behaviors patterns: The final DCM was able to distinguish between different developmental stages in the domain of numbers & operations, on group, as well as on individual level. Whereas roughly 14% of students didn’t master any of the assessed competencies, 34% of students mastered all of them including addition with high numbers. The remaining 52% achieved different stages of competency development, 8% of students are classified only mastering counting, 15% of students also can master addition with low numbers, meanwhile 20% of students additionally can master decomposition, all these patterns reflect developmental models of children’s counting and concept of numbers (Fritz & Ricken, 2008; see also Braeuning et al, 2021). Information that could potentially be used to substantially enhance large-scale assessment feedback and to offer further guidance for teachers on what to focus when teaching. To conclude, the present results make a convincing case that using fine-grained cognitive models for item development and applying DCMs that are able to statistically capture these nuances in student response behavior might be worth the (substantially) increased effort. References: Braeuning, D. et al (2021)., Long-term relevance and interrelation of symbolic and non-symbolic abilities in mathematical-numerical development: Evidence from large-scale assessment data. Cognitive Development, 58, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2021.101008. Fritz, A., & Ricken, G. (2008). Rechenschwäche. utb GmbH. Fuson, K. C. (1988). Children's counting and concepts of number. Springer-Verlag Publishing. Rupp, A. A., Templin, J. L., & Henson, R. A. (2010). Diagnostic measurement: Theory, methods, and applications. New York, NY: Guildford Press. Von Davier, M., & Lee, Y. S. (2019). Handbook of diagnostic classification models. Cham: Springer International Publishing. [less ▲]

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See detail#Climate Killer Internet - Didaktischer Kommentar
Baumann, Isabell Eva UL; Harion, Dominic UL

E-print/Working paper (2022)

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See detailValidation and Psychometric Analysis of 32 cognitive item models spanning Grades 1 to 7 in the mathematical domain of numbers & operations
Michels, Michael Andreas UL; Hornung, Caroline UL; Gamo, Sylvie UL et al

Scientific Conference (2022, November)

Today’s educational field has a tremendous hunger for valid and psychometrically sound items to reliably track and model students’ learning processes. Educational large-scale assessments, formative ... [more ▼]

Today’s educational field has a tremendous hunger for valid and psychometrically sound items to reliably track and model students’ learning processes. Educational large-scale assessments, formative classroom assessment, and lately, digital learning platforms require a constant stream of high-quality, and unbiased items. However, traditional development of test items ties up a significant amount of time from subject matter experts, pedagogues and psychometricians and might not be suited anymore to nowadays demands. Salvation is sought in automatic item generation (AIG) which provides the possibility of generating multiple items within a short period of time based on the development of cognitively sound item templates by using algorithms (Gierl & Haladyna, 2013; Gierl et al., 2015). The present study psychometrically analyses 35 cognitive item models that were developed by a team of national subject matter experts and psychometricians and then used for algorithmically producing items for the mathematical domain of numbers & shapes for Grades 1, 3, 5, and 7 of the Luxembourgish school system. Each item model was administered in 6 experimentally varied versions to investigate the impact of a) the context the mathematical problem was presented in, and b) problem characteristics which cognitive psychology identified to influence the problem solving process. Based on samples from Grade 1 (n = 5963), Grade 3 (n = 5527), Grade 5 (n = 5291), and Grade 7 (n = 3018) collected within the annual Épreuves standardisées, this design allows for evaluating whether psychometric characteristics of produced items per model are a) stable, b) can be predicted by problem characteristics, and c) are unbiased towards subgroups of students (known to be disadvantaged in the Luxembourgish school system). After item calibration using the 1-PL model, each cognitive model was analyzed in-depth by descriptive comparisons of resulting IRT parameters, and the estimation of manipulated problem characteristics’ impact on item difficulty by using the linear logistic test model (LLTM, Fischer, 1972). Results are truly promising and show negligible effects of different problem contexts on item difficulty and reasonably stable effects of altered problem characteristics. Thus, the majority of developed cognitive models could be used to generate a huge number of items (> 10.000.000) for the domain of numbers & operations with known psychometric properties without the need for expensive field-trials. We end with discussing lessons learned from item difficulty prediction per model and highlighting differences between the Grades. References: Fischer, G. H. (1973). The linear logistic test model as an instrument in educational research. Acta Psychologica, 36, 359-374. Gierl, M. J., & Haladyna, T. M. (Eds.). (2013). Automatic item generation: Theory and practice. New York, NY: Routledge. Gierl, M. J., Lai, H., Hogan, J., & Matovinovic, D. (2015). A Method for Generating Educational Test Items That Are Aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Journal of Applied Testing Technology, 16(1), 1–18. [less ▲]

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See detailMO-Gym: A Library of Multi-Objective Reinforcement Learning Environments
Felten, Florian UL; Alegre, Lucas Nunes; Talbi, El-Ghazali UL et al

Scientific Conference (2022, November)

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See detailTrägt Unterrichtsqualität zur Prävention von Entfremdung vom Lernen bei? Empirische Befunde für die Sekundarstufe in der Schweiz und Luxemburg
Braas, Lena; Grecu, Alyssa; Morinaj, Julia et al

in Lauermann, Fani; Jöhren, Christiane; McElvany, Nele (Eds.) et al Jahrbuch der Schulentwicklung. Band 22: Multiperspektivität von Unterrichtsprozessen (2022)

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See detailMezinárodní soft law jako koncept v judikatuře správních soudů
Hubkova, Pavlina UL

in Jurisprudence (2022), (5), 1-10

International soft law as a concept encompasses a large number of diverse international acts that are not legally binding but still are capable to produce legal effects. For national courts, international ... [more ▼]

International soft law as a concept encompasses a large number of diverse international acts that are not legally binding but still are capable to produce legal effects. For national courts, international soft law presents a foreign element because it is adopted beyond the state and it defies the traditional binary concept of law, according to which legal norms are binding, otherwise they are not law. Nevertheless, this foreign element finds its way into the decision-making of Czech administrative courts. The article maps how and in which situations the administrative courts work with the concept of soft law and what consequences they draw from soft law. [less ▲]

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See detailJack of All Trades - Stolz und Hilflosigkeit
Richter, Daniel UL

Article for general public (2022)

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