On October 21, 2023 the 12th Annual International Conference of the Eurasian Association for Educational Assessment (EAOKO) concluded in Moscow City University and on the screens of hundreds of online viewers. The conference was attended by representatives from Armenia, Belarus, Great Britain, Kazakhstan, Canada, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan. Russia was represented by experts from 14 regions. More than 400 people registered to attend the conference in person, and the number of YouTube connections exceeded 700.
Viktor Bolotov, EAOKO President, member of the Russian Academy of Education, told us about the origins of this institution. He recalled how twelve years ago Russia and neighboring countries began to think about the creation of national education quality assessment systems.
“My colleagues from Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and I had met and come to understand that it is far more interesting and useful for us to learn from each other than to try to copy the practices that exist in the UK, the Netherlands and the United States. And so we decided to create such an association (EAOKO – approx. ed.). It was established twelve years ago. We held meetings in Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia, and for the last three years, with the support of the Moscow City University, these conferences have been held in Russia,” Victor Alexandrovich noted, emphasizing that even by the twelfth meeting the interest in the topic had yet to wane.
“What is fascinating is that this is not an officious event, where each speaker waits for their turn without listening to others, but a lively discussion with discussions and proposals. One of the goals of the conferences is not just to make a report, but also to find like-minded people. And it worked, as there were a lot of discussions on the sidelines about future cooperation,” Bolotov added, sharing his impression of the conference.
In 3 days the participants had time to:
- to review the issues of assessing the educational quality at all levels of education;
- analyse methodological aspects and challenges of assessing the educational quality;
- discuss the specifics of assessing different types of literacy and meta-subject educational results;
- discuss the assessment of teachers’ qualification;
- to get acquainted with the results of projects and studies of master’s students and graduates of programs in education quality assessment.
One of the discussed topics was digitalization and the use of AI in education. According to Victor Bolotov, without a human a computer can perform template tasks, such as checking literacy and knowledge of formulas. But when it comes to the growth of a child, his well-being, and not only physical – this is where you can’t do without a teacher. “Development has been and will remain a human activity. And the computer will be engaged in routine work”, – noted the academician of the Russian Academy of Education.
Traditionally, at the end of the conference the participants began to discuss and note down the topics that they would like to consider in more detail at the next conference of Eurasian Association for Educational Assessment. In 2024, among other topics, the organizers will offer to discuss:
- assessment of innovative educational results;
- social surveys as a tool for assessing the quality of education;
- assessment of the quality of education as a basis for evidence-based educational management;
- assessment of soft skills and new literacies.
Here are the impressions shared by the conference participants:
– Like-minded people and community is the first thing you come to this conference for. But another bonus of participating is to compare your own expertise with the work of others.
– Not only did I share my experience, but I also learned something new that is very important for my further professional development. I found colleagues with whom I can interact on issues of my interest.
– Thank you for this format of discussion, when the speaker is not looked down upon, but rather guided and provided with constructive criticism! EAOKO always unites us into a union of associates.
By the way, EAOKO now has a Telegram channel, boasting more than a hundred experts, as well as current and future participants, among its subscribers.
Video recordings of all past events are available in the “12th Annual EAOKO International Conference” playlist; the program, which contains the timecodes of all speeches as well as links to broadcasts, will help you find the recording of the necessary discussion.
Photo materials can be viewed here.
The organizers thank the conference participants for their productive work and contribution to the development of education quality! All speakers, moderators and registered listeners will soon receive their certificates by e-mail.
See you at EAOKO 2024!