Universiteit Leiden

nl en


What can constructs of high stakes exams tell us about assessment cultures? The case of the new Language arts exam in Norway

Thursday 21 September 2023
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden


In 2020 the Norwegian Writing Centre was commissioned by the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training to develop a new high-stakes exam for Norwegian language arts on the secondary level. The Writing Centre was also commissioned to, for the first time in the exam’s century long history, pilot both tasks and criteria. The backdrop was a curriculum reform and a white paper that evaluated the exam system and concluded with severe threats to validity.

This paper will detail the process of designing a new exam and the ensuing results. The process of designing a new exam has been characterized by a balance between demands of psychometric qualities and, as it were, test user perceptions. During the developmental stage the NDET has published “suggestions” to new tasks and scoring models with the intent of receiving input from test users (e.g., teachers, students). Teacher associations such as the Association of Language Arts Teachers in Norway and teacher unions have been granted strong input in the decision-making process of the new exam and these inputs have to a non-trivial extent challenged test drafts designed to increase psychometric qualities of the exam. After three years of development, the NDET has decided to retain the 2019-version of the language arts exam.

About the speaker

Gustaf Bernhard Uno Skar is Professor of Language Arts Education and Director of the Norwegian Centre for Writing Education and Research (The Writing Centre) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He has been involved in several large-scale writing projects on, for example, young children’s writing, and on motivation for writing among adolescents, using quantitative as well as qualitative methodologies. Currently he is working with data on the development of first grade students writing and how that is related to teachers' practices and epistemological beliefs.  


If you want to join online, please register here

If you want to join in-person, you do not need to register. 

This website uses cookies.  More information.