Assessment research

The research team within the assessment directorate is responsible for ensuring that IB assessment and its examinations processing are appropriately informed by current research. Studies focus on assessment design, examiner marking, the increasing role of technology in high stakes examination, formative assessment and improving IB processes and policies.

This section contains the following assessment research information:

IB Assessment Research oversees two teams, one focusing on formative assessment, while the other focuses on assessment in DP, CP and MYP. Both teams also support IB Curriculum Development providing guidance on IB Policy and Assessment Practice, as well as expert input on trends and developments in assessment research.

What do the studies achieve?

Assessment research studies generally fall in one of four categories, which are outlined below.

Assessment for formative purposes in the IB

These studies look at questions like:

  • What is assessment for formative purposes in the IB and why is it important?
  • How do we build valid formative assessments in the classroom?
  • What are the effective practices shared by IB World Schools and teachers on assessment for formative purposes?
  • How do we use assessment to promote student agency and self-regulated learning?
  • What resources can IB develop to support effective formative assessment?
  • What are the trends regarding technology for formative assessment?

Summative assessments in DP, CP and MYP

These studies look at questions like:

  • Are new criteria clear and can they be applied reliably by examiners or teachers?
  • What do examiners look for when marking extended responses?
  • Does translation affect the demand of exam questions?
  • Can the Revised Bloom’s taxonomy be used to improve assessment task design?

Trends and developments in assessment

These studies look at questions like:

  • Which digital assessment item types are appropriate to assess specific thinking skills?
  • Is Adaptive Comparative Judgment a possible alternative for marking?
  • How effective and fair are existing tools for automated marking of short responses?
  • Under which conditions could IB consider introducing automated essay scoring to support human marking?

Improving IB policies and practices 

These studies look at questions like:

  • How is academic integrity taught in the DP and how effective is the teaching?
  • What is best practice for calculating a missing mark?
  • How do examiners apply “best fit”, and how can the IB guidance be improved?
  • Are word limits fair across languages?

If you have questions about assessment research, please contact assessment.research@ibo.org.