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NEPS arranges satellite symposium at KogWis 2012

The National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) arranged a satellite symposium with presentations on the composition, function, and measurement of competencies as part of the 11th Biannual Conference of the German Cognitive Science Society 2012 (KogWis) held at the University in Bamberg from September 30 to October 3rd, 2012. “From Cognitive Models to Cognitive Assistance“ was the theme of this year’s conference which attracted many scientists from diverse research fields, such as psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, and computer science, who met to present and discuss their work and be inspired by other projects.
In the photo (from left to right): Dr. Jutta von Maurice, Dr. Marion Händel, Prof. Dr. Cordula Artelt, Stefan Zimmermann, Dr. Anna Südkamp, Prof. Dr. Elsbeth Stern 

The contributions by NEPS were presented as part of a satellite symposium as an associated event at the conference. The renowned psychologist Prof. Dr. Elsbeth Stern from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) was available for discussion throughout this event.


Presenting the thematic focus, the methodological design, and the data offered by NEPS, the Executive Director of Research, Dr. Jutta von Maurice, gave a good overview and further insight into the project (von Maurice/Blossfeld). Among other things, interested scientists learned what kinds of data are provided by NEPS and what kinds of options are possible for their use in psychological and pedagogical educational research. 


Prof. Dr. Cordula Artelt introduced the topic of measurement of competencies in the NEPS in her lecture and gave an overview of the measured competencies, which range from domain-specific cognitive competencies across domain-general cognitive functioning to metacompetencies and social competence (Artelt/Weinert/Carstensen).
The subsequent lectures elaborated further on the competencies assessed in the areas of listening comprehension, reading competence, and metacognition.


Dr. Anna Südkamp presented the construct and the operationalization of listening comprehension at discourse level, which provide the foundation for  items on listening comprehension which are being developed by the NEPS. Listening comprehension at discourse level is defined as the ability to process longer and shorter segments of realistic, spoken speech in an automatized fashion and in real time and to use the information provided in these segments for answering questions (Südkamp/Langmann/Hecker).


Dr. Marion Händel’s lecture focused on the challenges of the measurement of metacognitive knowledge in different age brackets and illustrated how the aim of validly assessing the declarative aspect of metacognition is being implemented in the NEPS across different age groups (elementary school age to adulthood). In connection with this, varying skills and abilities are translated into action as a construct which is relevant to the participants’ individual life worlds Among other things, it was then also shown how the specific operationalization chosen within the scope of pilot studies (here especially for elementary school children) has proved to be successful (Händel/Lockl/Weinert/Artelt).  


Finally, Stefan Zimmerman presented a comparison of the cognitive requirements of reading comprehension tasks from competency-stage-models used in different studies. He put them in contrast with comprehension requirements of NEPS tests measuring reading competence and validated the implications regarding their comparability (Zimmermann/Gehrer/Artelt).