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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Dr Julie Rattray

Rattray, J. (2017). Assessing Liminality: The Use of Ipsative Formative Assessment During a Postgraduate Taught Induction Programme to Support the Development of Criticality. In Ipsative Assessment and Learning Gain: International Case Studies. Hughes, G. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 149-171.

Author(s) from Durham


Threshold concepts represent the most troublesome and transformative knowledge within a discipline and they have been afforded increasing amounts of attention over the past decade. The chapter argues that critical thinking represents a threshold concept and that the principles of ipsative assessment, that emphasise the need to focus on the process not the product of learning, may provide a useful vehicle to support passage through the liminal tunnel en route to threshold transformations. The chapter draws on a case study from a postgraduate taught induction programme for Education students at a research intensive university to support the suggestion that ipsative self-assessment can serve as a useful pedagogical tool to facilitate student progress through the liminal tunnel and subsequent mastery of threshold concepts.