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Improving next generation assessment design
using sophisticated techniques to explore real-world problems
to link design rationales with local contexts
building a bank of data to inform your work
Next Generation Design
Investing in microanalytic studies will improve your assessment design and strengthen test performance, fairness and validity. They underpin ‘next generation’ assessment in education, professional qualifications and health. We conduct lab-based and field studies to provide rich, useful data. By involving us early on, you’ll receive invaluable feedback that informs your test design, preempts problems and mitigates expensive redesign costs.
Capturing data on everything from eye movements and emotion to gesture and verbal interaction, our sophisticated microanalytic studies observe assessment responses as they take place in real-world settings. Our ethnographic studies on test reception and user experience bridge the gap between design rationales and local knowledge, helping you to understand and compare test performance and validity data across contexts.
Process Data Visualisation
Our fine-grained samples of test performance provide an invaluable resource to support investigations into assessment anomalies, analysis of item characteristics, test fairness and data forensics. We make the information available to you through helpful visualisation tools, including animations, eye tracker images, videos and analytics reports.
"Bryan’s work presents a refreshing approach to assessment validation using observational micro data to understand how assessments are practically operating in contexts."
Tania Clarke, Senior Research Manager, Cambridge Assessment English
"AI is often criticised for its lack of human touch, it therefore seems appropriate for ACTNext to collaborate with an esteemed anthropologist with experience in the testing process on our projects that include AI and ML."
Alina A. von Davier, Senior Vice President, ACTNext
"...the field of measurement ,assessment, and testing has been calling out for a new and expanded evidential basis for test validation. Maddox’s program of research answers that call..."
Bruno D. Zumbo. Paragon UBC Professor of Psychometrics and Measurement
Dr Bryan Maddox
Executive Director, AMA
In addition to his role as Executive Director of Assessment MicroAnalytics, Bryan is an Associate Professor in educational assessment at the University of East Anglia. His assessment research is inspired by micro-analytic traditions in anthropology, conversation analysis and gesture studies. Bryan’s research has taken him around the world to Mongolia, Slovenia, Senegal, the USA, Bangladesh, and Nepal. He is also a director of the Laboratory of International Assessment Studies (an international research network). His latest book, International Large-Scale Assessments in Education is published by Bloomsbury.
International Large-Scale Assessments in Education
Exploring the often controversial international large-scale assessments (ILSAs) in education and offers research-based accounts of international testing as a social practice.
Observing response processes with eye tracking in international large-scale assessments: evidence from the OECD PIAAC assessment
Reporting on a pilot study that used eye tracking techniques to make detailed observations of item response processes in the OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).
Interviewer-respondent interaction and rapport in PIAAC
Investigating small-scale, qualitative observations of interviewer–respondent interaction in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).
Talk and Gesture as Process Data
Discussing talk and gesture as neglected sources of process data. The significance of the article is the growing use of various sources of process data in computer-based testing. The use of process data on talk and gesture expands the sources of information about test performance and validity.
Literacy as Numbers: Researching the Politics and Practices of International Literary Assessment
Enquiring into the politics and practices of international literacy assessment programmes, exploring how the internationally comparable numbers, now so heavily relied on in national policy are produced, and how they are shaping our understanding of the meanings and purposes of literacy.
The neglected situation: assessment performance and interaction in context
Informed by Goffman’s influential essay on ‘The neglected situation’ this paper examines the contextual and interactive dimensions of performance in large-scale educational assessments.