The Centre’s overall aim is to investigate the impact of educational assessment. Connections between policy, assessment theory and practice need to be elucidated, researched and critiqued for assessment to play a better role in improving education.
The Centre’s main research priorities are to:
Conduct research into the role of assessment in developing, implementing and monitoring system-level change.
Develop models of educational assessment to increase understanding of learning processes, resource use and outcomes in education systems.
Undertake systematic analyses of assessment, public policy and the interaction between them in various sectors of education and subject domains. For example, the use of international test data within and across education systems.
Investigate how assessment is perceived and used by stakeholders (learners, parents, institutions, employers, policy-makers) within education systems.
Critically examine notions of validity, reliability and standards in relation to different modes of assessment and to different purposes.
Evaluate the potential for the use and application of psychometrics to enhance the validity and reliability of educational assessment.
Explore the opportunities for, and the impacts of, new assessment technologies in test design, test distribution, test administration and results delivery.
Current Research Projects
Is Science Lost in Translation? Language Effects in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Science Assessments
Examining translation effects on item difficulty in English, French and Spanish versions of the Diploma Programme Science examinations
Assessment for Learning in Africa (AFLA project)
Assessment for Learning in Africa (AFLA): Improving Pedagogy and Assessment for Numeracy in Foundation Years
Setting and maintaining standards in national examinations
Examination standards are not well defined in theoretical terms and this leads to problems in their public understanding, with consequent periodic crises in public confidence.
Assessment and Psychometrics Research Fellowship
Assessment practice and research is dominated by psychometric ways of thinking. We think psychometrics is valuable, but these techniques are not the only way to view assessment issues.
IB Critical Thinking
The effect of the Diploma Programme on Critical Thinking Development: An International Multisite Evaluation
Assessment for Learning in Africa: Improving Pedagogy and Assessment for Numeracy in Foundation Years
To conduct research on formative assessment in primary school early years’ numeracy contexts in Tanzania, East Africa and two sites in South Africa.
Enhancing Summative Assessment of Practical Science Skills at GCSE
A project addressing how practical science can be better assessed at GCSE.
OUCEA is part of the Department of Education, University of Oxford, 15 Norham Gardens OX2 6PY