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Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2022-2023

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run each academic year.

Department: Education

EDUC2411: Assessing Education

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To introduce the students to the nature and different forms of assessment in education.


  • What is assessed: Cognitive and non-cognitive assessment; wider outcomes (character; well-being). Introduction to outcomes in research.
  • Who is assessed: Pupils; teachers; schools
  • How is it assessed: Summative, formative and diagnostic assessment; international assessments, national assessments, school assessments; reflective practice.
  • Why is it assessed: individual progress and attainment; accountability.
  • The uses of assessment and outcomes in evaluation research; distinguish between impact outcomes and perceptions and experiences outcomes.
  • Fairness and bias; international comparisons.
  • Validity and reliability in assessment (an introduction)

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • To develop knowledge, skills and understanding related to the range of outcomes assessed in education: what, who, how and why?
  • To develop an informed and critical understanding of the purposes, strengths and limitations of assessment in education
  • To understand the relationship between assessment (outcomes) and research findings
Subject-specific Skills:
  • To gain skills in critiquing assessment outcomes
  • To gain skills in generating simple results using basic statistical techniques
Key Skills:
  • To be able to differentiate between different kinds of research outcomes
  • To be able to synthesise findings from impact outcomes and perceptions and experiences outcomes

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures
  • Workshops

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 11 1 hour 11
Seminars 11 2 hours 22
Private study, reading and research 167
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Critique of Research Paper 1500 words 50% Yes
Essay 1500 words 50% Yes

Formative Assessment:

A one-page outline of two items (250 words each) with headings, sub-headings, bullet points and references. Critique Formative: state the issues - strengths and limitations - which will be discussed in detail in the summative. Essay Formative: state the topic area and outline the issues of fairness and bias; validity and reliability-which will be discussed in detail in the summative.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University

If you have a query about a specific module or degree programme, please contact the appropriate department.

If you have a question about Durham's modular degree programmes, please visit our FAQ webpage. If you have a question about modular programmes that is not covered by the FAQ, or a query about the on-line Faculty Handbook, please contact us using the Comments and Questions form below.