Current research projects
Quant-DARE's current research projects.
What made PISA outcomes different - a comparison on socioeconomic status, curriculum and students’ motivation between New Zealand and China (Shanghai) based on PISA 2015
Anran Zhao. Supervised by Prof. Gavin Brown, & Dr Kane Meissel
This doctoral project examines differences in participants between Shanghai and New Zealand and using Propensity Score Matching attempts to equate participants to determine if the gap in PISA scores reduces. Results indicate differences reduce markedly when NZ students are matched demographically to Shanghai students. Furthermore, the project surveys students in NZ and Shanghai to determine if differences in consequence attached to a test result in different beliefs about the purpose of assessment and test-taking motivation. Comparisons show that NZ students make much more effort only when they themselves are at stake; whereas, Shanghai students make very similar effort when either the country or themselves are at stake. The 3 studies indicate that jurisdiction to jurisdiction PISA results are greatly inflated by socio-demographic selection and by differences in effort.
Zhao, A., Brown, G. T. L., & Meissel, K. (2021, in press). Manipulating the consequences of tests: How Shanghai teens react to different consequences. Educational Research & Evaluation.
Zhao, A., Brown, G. T. L., & Meissel, K. (2021, July). Manipulating the Consequences of Tests: How Shanghai Teens React to Different Consequences. Paper presented to the ITC 12th Conference on Tests and Testing, Luxembourg
Zhao, A. (2021). Sources of sample bias in PISA: Selectivity and effort differences between Shanghai and New Zealand. (Ph.D. unpublished thesis), The University of Auckland, Auckland, NZ.
Zhao, A., Brown, G. T. L., & Meissel, K. (2020, July). The impact of stakes on students’ test-taking motivation, a quasi-experimental study in Shanghai. Paper accepted for the biennial meeting of the International Test Commission, Luxemburg. (conference cancelled)
University Students’ Conceptions of Assessment: Using Self-Regulation to Self-Improve
Xiaoying (Tracy) Gao. Supervised by Prof. Gavin Brown & AP Richard Hamilton
This doctoral project attempts to describe how Chinese university students experience assessment and feedback and how those perceptions relate to their motivations, goals, and learning strategies. The work has surveyed students in China and NZ and uses confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling to test hypotheses. Preliminary results show that perceptions of feedback have strong influences on motivations, goals, and learning strategies.
Gao, X., Hamilton, R. J., & Brown, G. T. L. (2021, November). The Role of Feedback Conceptions in Predicting University Students’ Learning Motivations, Goals, Strategies, and Performance. Manuscript in preparation.
Gao, X. T., Brown, G. T. L., & Hamilton, R. J. (2020, June). PRC Undergraduate Student Perceptions of Assessment and Feedback Practices. Paper accepted for biennial meeting of EARLI SIG 1 + 4, Cadiz, Spain. (conference cancelled)
Cross-cultural differences in student self-assessment; identification of social and cultural best practices and the difference between ‘east’ and ‘west'
Tianxin (Shirley) Li. Supervised by Prof. Gavin Brown & AP Eleanor Hawe
This doctoral project examines how students experience and understand self-assessment using surveys of university students in China and NZ. The research examines the degree to which students in China’s integrated quality assessment (IQA) are inclined (if at all) to be dishonest on the self-assessment component and whether those attitudes and practices change when self-assessments are implemented in other contexts. Preliminary results indicate that the self-assessment component of the IQA depends on 2 different pathways—the intended growth path and the self-enhancing path. Lack of integrity in IQA leads to self-enhancement rather than truthful self-evaluations.
Li, T., Hawe, E., & Brown, G. T. L. (2021, August). The Integrated Quality Assessment System: How Chinese Higher Education Students Perceive and Engage in Self-assessment. Manuscript in preparation for resubmission.
Li, T., Brown, G. T. L., & Hawe, E. (2020, June). University Students’ Perceptions of Academic Integrity around self-assessment. Paper accepted in Symposium "Self-assessment: reviewing existing studies and presenting new research” at biennial meeting of EARLI SIG 1 + 4, Cadiz, Spain. (conference cancelled)
Teaching Quantitative Research Methods to Novice Researchers
Sedigheh Abbasnasab. Supervised by Prof. Gavin Brown & AP Paul Denny (Computer Science)
This doctoral project tackles the possibility that students struggle with quantitative research methods because of features in statistical software systems. The project has surveyed doctoral students in NZ to determine their attitudes towards computers, statistics, and their self-reported competence. Using eye-tracking doctoral students complete a statistical task on a randomly assigned computer interface; data are used to identify helpful and hindering features.
Abbasnasab Sardareh, S., Brown, G. T. L., & Denny, P. (2021). Comparing four contemporary statistical software tools for introductory data science and statistics in the social sciences. Teaching Statistics, 43(S1), S157-S172. https://doi.org/10.1111/test.12274
Abbasnasab, S., Brown, G. T. L., & Denny, P. (2021, July). Statistical software for non-statisticians and non-computer programming students in education and social science disciplines: An evaluation
of four contemporary statistical software. Paper presented at the Australian and New Zealand Statistical Conference, Gold Coast, Australia.
Abbasnasab, S., Brown, G. T. L., & Denny, P. (2020, July). Statistical software for non-statisticians and non-computer programming students in education and social science disciplines: An evaluation of four contemporary statistical software. Paper accepted at the Australian and New Zealand Statistical Conference, Gold Coast, Australia. (conference rescheduled to 2021)
Achievement Emotions Across An Assessment Event
Jinjing Fang. Supervised by Prof. Gavin Brown & AP Richard Hamilton
This doctoral project follows 1st year students in an elite Chinese university where at the end of semester 1 students are promoted to or demoted from the elite college. Repeated measures survey data are collected around motivations, goals, conceptions of assessment and social network information. Preliminary results show that semester 1 associations between goals and motives onto assessment and emotion beliefs are NOT replicated in the second semester after the major end of semester exams and resorting of students into the elite or ordinary groups. Different paths and different strengths of paths exist in the elite and ordinary groups.
Fang, J., Brown, G. T. L., & Hamilton, R. J. (2021, May). Failure avoidance contributes to negative emotions: A longitudinal study of promotion/relegation processes at an elite Chinese university.
Poster at the 2021 APS Virtual Convention and Poster Showcase.
Fang, J., Brown, G. T. L., & Hamilton, R. J. (2020, June). Chinese Undergraduate Conceptions of Assessment: A validation study for the C-SCoA inventory. Paper accepted for biennial meeting of EARLI SIG 1 + 4, Cadiz, Spain. (conference cancelled)
Fang, J., Brown, G. T. L., & Hamilton, R. J. (2020, May) Avoiding failure and pursing personal goals: An investigation of students’ achievement motivation at an elite Chinese university. Poster accepted at the 32nd 2020 APS Annual Convention, Chicago, IL. (conference cancelled)
Motivational profiles in grade-eight TIMSS science: Describing jurisdictions in the Asia-Pacific region.
Yifei Wu. Supervised by Prof. Gavin Brown
This masters thesis project conducts latent profile analysis on Grade 8 motivation attributes to determine whether different profiles have different demographic or proficiency attributes. This is a secondary data project using the 2015 TIMMS Science data.
Wu, Y. (2020). Motivational profiles in grade-eight TIMSS science: Describing jurisdictions in the Asia-Pacific region. (M.Ed. unpublished thesis), The University of Auckland, Auckland, NZ.
The role of executive function in mid-childhood achievement
Darren Dai. Supervised by DPrf Jane Harding, AP Trecia Wouldes. Advised by Dr Chris McKinlay, Prof. Gavin Brown
This project examines the cognitive function and school achievement of young children who had participated in neo-natal medical interventions for hypoglaecemia.
Dai, D. W. T., Franke, N., Wouldes, T. A., Brown, G. T. L., Tottman, A. C., Harding, J. E., & Group, P. S. (2021). The contributions of intelligence and executive function to behaviour problems in school-age children born very preterm. Acta Paediatrica, 110(6), 1827-1834. https://doi.org/10.1111/apa.15763
Dai, D. W. T., Wouldes, T. A., Brown, G. T. L., Tottman, A. C., Alsweiler, J. M., Gamble, G. D., & Harding, J. E. (2020). Relationships between intelligence, executive function and academic achievement in children born very preterm. Early Human Development, 148, 105122.
Social Media Survey: Refugee experiences in NZ
AP Jay Marlowe. Quant-DARE RF Dr Bing Mei is conducting analyses.
This project examines the use of social media among refugees in NZ to describe their use of various social media and explore whether social media use has any potential problems.