+44 (0)1223 330484

ISP Annual Education Lecture

1 March 2023, 5pm – 7pm | Hughes Hall, Pavilion Room | Open to all

We are proud to announce our annual Education Lecture, in partnership with International School Partnership, discussing new ideas within the study of education, and celebrating the education community at Hughes Hall.

All are welcome to attend – please register here.

Speakers (full bios below)

Dr Sonia Ilie

Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge | Governing Body Fellow, Hughes Hall

Prof Ricardo Sabates Aysa

Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge | Governing Body Fellow, Hughes Hall

Dr Alina von Davier

Chief of Assessment, Duolingo

Schedule of Event

5.00 PM

Learning inequalities between and within countries: learning assessments and measurement supporting educational policy for equitable outcomes

Dr Sonia Ilie & Prof. Ricardo Sabates

Educational research often looks to inform policy and practice about effective ways of strengthening equity in and through education.  Learning assessments have been at the forefront of measuring a range of educational outcomes whose equitable distribution matters for individuals and wider systems. Some assessments have been used to understand differences across contexts, over time, and for particular populations both in and out of school and beyond.

In this talk, we share insights into the use of learning assessments and other large-scale measurement efforts aimed at improving equity in education across contexts and over time. We focus primarily on innovative assessments developed in the Global South, their lessons for other efforts across the world, and how these have been central for continuing to push towards a more equitable global agenda under the Sustainable Development Goal 4: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.

“The Robots are Coming to School:” The 2023 Dilemma

Dr Alina von Davier

In 2018, I wrote a blog with this same title for the Brookings Institution, to prepare teachers and researchers for the penetration of smart technology in the classroom — adaptive learning, personalized recommendations, content generation, and essays grading.

Since then, powerful, and yet nascent, generative AI (GPT3, ChatGPT, DALL-E, Stable Difusion, etc) has taken society by storm. These generative tools create multimodal content, from text to images to music and voices. Many educators (and content creators) feel threatened; Some school districts in the US have moved to forbid access to these tools, while conferences are preparing guidelines for ethical use of generative AI in the preparation of papers and presentations.

Meanwhile, the development of this new technology continues apace. Now what? How can we, as educators and assessment industry professionals, best harness the potential of these new technologies? My presentation will focus on the impact of these technologies on assessment and the paradigm shift that they are facilitating.

Q&A and discussion, chaired by Dr Ayesha Ahmed, By Fellow, Hughes Hall
6.30 PMDrinks Reception

Speaker Biographies

Dr Sonia Ilie

Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge | Governing Body Fellow, Hughes Hall

Dr Sonia Ilie is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education.

She is a member of the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) centre, and leads FairLab, the research lab for higher education access and success in the Faculty, where her research focuses on understanding educational inequality and exploring the impact of specific programmes and interventions on equitable opportunities and outcomes in school and into higher education.

Prof. Ricardo Sabates

Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge | Governing Body Fellow, Hughes Hall

Dr Ricardo Sabates Aysa is Professor in Education and International Development at the Faculty of Education.

His research has focused on measuring educational inequalities in access and learning, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. In addition, his research interests are also on second chance opportunities in education for marginalised children as well as cost effectiveness and equity in education.

He is a member of the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre, and the Cambridge Network for Disability and Education Research (CaNDER). He is currently the Director of Research at the Faculty of Education.

Dr Alina von Davier

Chief of Assessment, Duolingo

Alina von Davier is a psychometrician and researcher in computational psychometrics, machine learning, and education. Von Davier is a researcher, innovator, and an executive leader with over 20 years of experience in EdTech and in the assessment industry. She is the Chief of Assessment at Duolingo, where she leads the Duolingo English Test research and development area. She is also the Founder and CEO of EdAstra Tech, a service-oriented EdTech company. In 2022, she joined the University of Oxford as an Honorary Research Fellow, and Carnegie Mellon University as a Senior Research Fellow.

Von Davier’s work has been widely recognized in the academic community. In 2019, she was a finalist for the Innovator award from the EdTech Digest. In 2020, she received ATP’s Career Award for her contributions to assessment. The American Educational Research Association awarded her the Division D Signification Contribution Educational Measurement and Research Methodology Award for her publications “Computerized Multistage Testing: Theory and Applications” (2014) and an edited volume on test equating, “Statistical Models for Test Equating, Scaling, and Linking” (2011). In 2022 she received the National Council on Measurement in Education’s Bradley Hanson award for her work on adaptive testing and for the co-authored book on computer adaptive testing with R.