Friday, October 3, 2014 - 9:55am
Singapore Hosts 40th IAEA Conference

Dr. Lenore Ll. Decenteceo, CEM and IAEA president, welcomed delegates to the 40th Annual IAEA conference held in Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore. The conference was held in May 2014. It was hosted by the Singaporean Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB), which develops and conducts national examinations in Singapore.

The event gathered some of the best in the field of educational assessment and research to share experiences, challenges, and innovations, relevant to the main theme "Assessment Innovations for the 21st Century." Sub-themes of the conference were Assessment of 21st Century Skills, Assessment of Language, Assessment to Enhance Learning and Standards Setting and Large Scale Assessment.

Professor James W. Pellegrino of the University of Illinois at Chicago, delivered the opening keynote. His presentation, "Assessment as a Positive Influence on 21st Century Teaching and Learning: A Systems Approach to Progress," argued that when assessment is properly conceived, designed and implemented, it can serve as a positive influence on attaining the learning goals for students.

CITO Netherlands and the National Foundation for Education Research of United Kingdom, conducted a symposium on "Policy Issues in Educational Assessment." This was the fourth in a series of symposia held during IAEA conferences. The symposium discussed one of the main issues in designing assessment - how to support the purposes of the education system. Results of the debate will be used to work towards the first statement on the IAEA Manifesto.

UNESCO conducted a special presentation, "The Global Development Agenda and the Elusive Learning Goal." Albert Motivans of UNESCO Institute for Statisitcs in Montreal, Canada, presented some of the key trends in student assessment around the world. The presentation highlighted the need for continued effort in mapping out how best to: measure important learning outcomes, build capacities in assessment, and use new technologies.

A unique feature of the conference is the off-site sessions that gave delegates the opportunity to visit several schools, interact with school staff, and observe classroom learning. This was the first time that off-site sessions were conducted in the conference.

Professor Emeritus Gordon Stobart of the University of London presented the closing keynote, "What is 21st Century Learning - and How can Assessment Help?" Stobart described that the double duty of assessment is to make demands on present knowledge and skills in a way that also develops lifelong learning skills such as self-regulation and learning how to learn.

To mark IAEA's 40th annual conference, SEAB prepared an AVP entitled, "Celebrating 40 Years of IAEA." The AVP featured IAEA's inception in the 70s, previous conference themes and conference hosts from the 70s up to the present. There were also interviews with former and present IAEA officials. Tan Lay Choo of SEAB also presented a token for the IAEA organization to Dr. Decenteceo.

The CEM delegation was composed of the Board of Trustees and staffers from Research, Test Development, and Business Development Sections: Kathryn M. Tan, Jennifer S. Wong, Jason V. Moseros, and Noelyn H. Curutan.

The 41st Annual IAEA conference will be held in Kansas, USA on October 11-15, 2015, to be hosted by the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas. The conference theme will focus on "The Three Most Important Considerations in Testing: Validity, Validity, Validity."