Home > College of Education > FSU COE Professor Selected to Develop International Student Assessment

FSU COE Professor Selected to Develop International Student Assessment

Every three years, 15-year-old students around the world take the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey. The results of the survey have a deep impact on education reforms and help countries determine the effectiveness of their education systems. For Valerie Shute, professor in the FSU Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, the next PISA survey is extra special, as she has the special honor of being one of the education experts to design the survey.

Valerie ShuteDr. Shute, accompanied by FSU Doctoral candidate Seyed Ahmad Rahimi (Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies), traveled to Washington, D.C., where the two met with seven other experts. The group initially convened on February 26 and 27 to start developing the initial assessments.

“I’m honored and excited to be part of the expert group designing the new ‘creative thinking’ assessment that will be part of PISA 2021, testing 15-year-old students from around the world,” said Dr. Shute when asked about her participation in PISA. “Unlike past efforts to measure creativity, we’ll be designing innovative tasks focusing on various aspects of creative thinking, and collecting process and outcome data (across different domains, like art, science, and problem solving) from students to make inferences about their creativity.”

Education experts are chosen for a variety of reasons. For Dr. Shute, the selection committee chose her due to her innovative work on measuring problem-solving skills, creativity, and other constructs that are often difficult to quantify. In particular, Dr. Shute was chosen because of her work on measuring creativity while children played with the Physics Playground game.  Much of her recent research has centered around developing assessments that evaluate knowledge and complex phenomena.

Since 2000 when PISA began, experts from more than 80 countries have worked on the survey. Dr. Shute joins an elite group of education experts who have worked on the assessment.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducts the PISA survey, with the next survey scheduled to take place in 2021. The organization, which has 72 member countries, shares the data from the assessment and ranks the performance of the countries. The point of the test isn’t necessarily to determine the “best” education systems, but rather to help countries identify which education models are most effective and to identify strengths and weaknesses. Because of this, OECD member countries typically leverage PISA results to shape education policy.


More information about PISA is available at http://www.oecd.org/pisa/aboutpisa.

Shute is the Mack and Effie Campbell Tyner Endowed Professor of Education in the FSU College of Education. Her research has earned her prestigious grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Florida Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Education.

Categories: College of Education
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