This paper aims to investigate small-scale, qualitative observations of interviewer–respondent interaction in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).
The paper uses video-ethnographic methods to document talk and gesture in assessment in Slovenian household settings. It presents an in-depth case study of interaction in a single testing situation.
Observing interaction in assessment captures data on assessment performance that is not available in quantitative analysis of assessment response processes. The character of interviewer–respondent interaction and rapport is shaped by the cognitive demands of assessment and the distinctive ecological setting of the household.
Observational data on assessment response processes and interaction in real-life assessments can be integrated into and synthesized with other sources of “process data”.
Assessment programs such as PIAAC should consider the significance of the household setting on assessment quality and observations of interaction in assessment as a valid source of paradata.
There is a place for small-scale observational studies of assessment to inform public understanding of assessment quality and validity.
The paper provides qualitative insights into the significance of interaction and “interviewer effects” in household assessment settings.
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