Ms Celeste Combrinck, Project Coordinator/Researcher at the Centre for Evaluation and Assessment (CEA), presented at the 22nd Annual South African Psychology Congress (PsySSA) held at Emperors’ Palace, Johannesburg on the 20 th to 23 rd of September 2016.
The theme of the 22 nd PsySSA congress was: “Psychology’s response and ability with the focus on individual and societal wellbeing”. Psychology professionals have a responsibility to inform research, policy and practice for the betterment of all in society. Ms Celeste Combrinck’s presentation was entitled: “Identifying academically at risk students with external assessments: using receiver operating curves and predictive validity to set cut scores”. The presentation discussed methods for setting cut-scores and classifying learners so that academically at risk learners can be identified in Grade 11. The study highlighted the use of external monitoring assessments to identify the academically at risk learners. The Rasch Partial Credit Model was used to validate the Grade 11 English Language, Mathematics and Natural Science assessments. Logistic Regression Modelling was used to identify which of the assessments predicted the outcome with significance, and Receiver Operating Curves (ROCs) were used to set the cut scores. The conclusion Dr Vanessa Scherman (UNISA), Prof. David Maree (Department of Psychology, UP), Ms Celeste Combrinck (Centre for Evaluation and Assessment, UP) was that external assessments can be used to identify academically at risk learners, but these findings should be combined with internal school assessments and evaluations.
Prominent academics in attendance at the congress include Prof. Norman Duncan, the Vice Principal of Academic Plans and Policies at the University of Pretoria who delivered the second Siphiwe Ngcobo Memorial Lecture under the topic of “Engaging the psychology of decolonisation”.