Dr Yasmine El Masri

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA. She has been recently appointed as a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College.

Yasmine continued leading two research grants in 2017: The first is the Aga Khan University (AKU) Language Policy Thinking Group project that aimed to provide evidence-based guidance for the development of an AKU Language Policy (completed in September 2017). The second one, an ESRC project funded under the Global Challenges research scheme entitled Using Technology in Science Tasks: Reducing Language Barriers for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon (completed in January 2018). The GCRF project was a collaboration between Dr El Masri and a local NGO in Lebanon, Lebanese Alternative Learning. The NGO produces computer-based interactive tasks in three languages (English, French and Arabic) for deprived youth in the country, including Syrian refugees, helping them access quality education. Dr El Masri’s role was to review the tasks in terms of task design and language demands.

More recently, Dr El Masri became a member of the Project Management team of the Calibrate Project, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust in association with the Gatsby Foundation. The project is led by the science education team in the Department (PI: Professor Sibel Erduran) in collaboration with OUCEA (Professor Jo-Anne Baird, Dr Yasmine El Masri and DPhil student Diana Ng) and the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) examination board. The project aims to enhance summative assessment of practical science in the UK.

Research interests and areas for student supervision

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, differential item functioning, Rasch modelling, international large-scale assessments


Oxford University Department of Education Scholarship for Academic Excellence (Dec 2014)

Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award, Association for Educational Assessment – Europe (Nov 2014)

Research grants

Using Technology in Science Tasks: Reducing Language Barriers for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon, PI. Funder: ESRC GCRF; Award: £125,000

Aga Khan University Language Policy Thinking Group, PI. Funder: Aga Khan University; Award: £20,000 (Oct 2016 – Jun 2017)

Systematic review on judging demands and predicting task difficulty, PI. Funder: Oxford University Department of Education; Award: £3,366 (Apr – Oct 2016)

Task Difficulty Models, Co-investigator with Professor Jo-Anne Baird. Funder: Pearson Inc.; Award: £46,667. (Jan – Dec 2015)

Social media presence

Twitter @Y_Masri

LinkedIn profile

Academia.edu profile

ResearchGate profile

Yasmine has published the following blogs in relation to her research on improving existing models for predicting task difficulty:


Journal articles

  • Hopfenbeck, TN, Lenkeit, J, El Masri, Y, Cantrell, K, Ryan, J, Baird, J-A (2018) “Lessons Learned from PISA: A Systematic Review of Peer-Reviewed Articles on the Programme for International Student Assessment”, SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH. 62(3) 333-353.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/00313831.2016.1258726

  • El Masri, YH, Ferrara, S, Foltz, PW, Baird, JA (2017) “Predicting item difficulty of science national curriculum tests: the case of key stage 2 assessments”, Curriculum Journal. 28(1) 59-82.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/09585176.2016.1232201

  • El Masri, YH, Baird, JA, Graesser, A (2016) “Language effects in international testing: the case of PISA 2006 science items”, Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice. 23(4) 427-455.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/0969594X.2016.1218323

  • El Masri, Y, Vlaardingerbroek, B (2010) “Science textbook readability in Lebanon: A comparison between anglophone and francophone learning milieux”, Mediterranean Journal of Educational Studies. 15(1) 109-124.

  • Vlaardingerbroek, B, Jaber, LZ, El-Masri, YH (2008) “The lebanese brevet professionnel: Resurgence of a lower secondary vocational track”, Journal of Vocational Education and Training. 60(4) 413-422.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/13636820802591848

  • Vlaardingerbroek, B, El Masri, Y (2008) “The status of evolutionary theory in undergraduate biology programmes at Lebanese universities: A comparative study”, International Journal of Educational Reform. 15 150-163.

  • Vlaardingerbroek, B, Hachem El-Masri, Y (2008) “Student transition to upper secondary vocational and technical education (vte) in lebanon: From stigma to success”, Journal of Vocational Education and Training. 60(1) 19-33.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/13636820701828788


  • Hopfenbeck, TN, Tolo, A, Florenz, T, El Masri, Y (2013) “Balancing trust and accountability? The Assessment for Learning Programme in Norway”, In: Report for OECD.


  • Department staff


  • OUCEA Research Fellow

Research groups


Publications, books and other work