Why did you decide to study the MSc Educational Assessment course at Oxford University?
I have been involved in educational, professional, and vocational assessment for years, most recently training and assessing investment bankers in a professional context. I wanted to deepen and systematise my knowledge, as well as perfect my assessment techniques to be better at my job.
What is your full-time job?
I train, coach, and assess investment bankers in a professional context.
What strategies did you use to balance your studies with your work and other commitments?
Planning and good time management were the key for me. I was trying to be consistent in my studies as much as possible and do a bit of work every week. Teaching weeks at Oxford were also great for getting additional hours of library time, chats with colleagues, and writing. When I was in Oxford, I was a full-time student!
How did the programme support and engage you as a distance learning student?
All lecture materials, including relevant readings, were available online. If you struggled with accessing a particular book or a research paper, the library team was always keen to help. When Covid-19 lockdown started, our lectures were moved online, and were available on Canvas which allowed us to return to any part of the material that we needed, at any point in time.
What did you particularly like about the course?
The teaching staff – their world-class expertise, and professional experience.
I also really liked the fact that the course was designed in a way that, somehow, supported and benefited more and less advanced students. The teaching accommodated for the fact that there may be learners who never heard about psychometrics before or had no experience in classroom assessment. Everyone could learn something valuable at their level, and at their own pace.
What did you most value about the teaching at the department?
The expertise of our lecturers, but also how approachable and supportive they were. It is the perfect combination!
What’s the community (students & staff) like at the department?
The teaching team is absolutely fantastic! In addition to being world-class experts, the teaching staff are friendly, and very helpful. The administrative team is also amazing – responsive, supportive, and always going the extra mile to help with anything.
How did your College add to your experience at Oxford?
Our cohort was lucky enough to enjoy in-person teaching weeks during the majority of our first academic year, therefore, we managed to take advantage of the famous Oxford college life. College dinners, and other social events, afternoon chats with students from other departments, and quiet evenings studying were all a wonderful addition to the academic part of the program.
How has studying the course helped with your professional development?
I’d like to think that I have become a better, more skilful, and more informed assessor. This programme has also allowed me to further develop a range of other skills such as research or academic writing. My love for both (and the encouragement from the professors) motivated me to embark on a DPhil program this year.
What advice would you give to new students who are about to start the course?
Be curious – read, research, ask a lot of questions, join discussions with fellow students. Make the most of being a part of this wonderful, world-leading academic community. They are not only keen to share their knowledge with you but are also very interested in learning something from you.
Be consistent – seriously – be consistent! Try to do some work every week, keep reading, researching, and writing on a regular basis.
Also, do enjoy Oxford! It is such a magical place with so much to offer!