Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module EDUC40730: Indicator Systems & Evaluation

Department: Education

EDUC40730: Indicator Systems & Evaluation

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This course will consider the applications of research methods to policy and practice: e.g. in monitoring the effectiveness of your own school or college or schools and colleges in general; in inspection of schools and colleges; in evaluating projects such as interventions aiming at school improvements.


  • We will consider both official and unofficial indicator systems from a variety of countries and also speculate about the nature of complex organisations and ways to make them effective.
  • Evidence-based Education will be discussed. In using the expression "Evidence-Based" we are adopting a term currently used in medicine. There it refers to evidence derived from randomised controlled trials ---the gold standard of evidence as to what works. Is there a need for more of this kind of research to be undertaken in Education? Are experiments feasible? How do they fit in with the growth of monitoring systems?
  • This course is relevant to management, policy, school improvement/effectiveness, and research methods.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • A critical understanding of indicator systems in education.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will be able to:
  • -Interpret data relevant to their own educational systems.
  • -Criticise the basis and working of monitoring and inspection systems.
  • -Argue the case for and against experiments in education
Key Skills:
  • Demonstrate the ability to research literature, including for example: searching, synthesising, summarising and critiquing literatures;
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate educational research;
  • Use ICT when presenting assignments;
  • Organise and plan;
  • Formulate, analyse and solve problems;
  • Learn independently.

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

  • Through lectures and seminar teaching supported by Study Guide resources. The Study Guide includes preperation for and follow up on teaching activities. This directed independent work is an important part of the module. Lectures enable the ideas of the module to be considered. Seminar work enables students to develop their understanding of the ideas and consider them in a range of professionally relevant contexts. Activities in seminars include a variety of active learning approaches including discussion, group work, presentations, question and answer sessions, individual tasks. A Bulletin Board on DUO enables staff and students to continue their interaction between teaching sessions. Preparation for the assignment involves students in wide reading and critical reflection on ideas of the module.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 7 1.5 hours 10.5
Seminars 7 2.5 hours 17.5
Preparation & Reading 272
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assignment 5,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Verbal feedback is given to students' contribution during class teaching sessions. Staff can be contacted for individual help. Written formative feedback is provided for the academic outline of the assignment.

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