Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)

Module EDUC44430: Judgement-based Assessment (Distance Learning)

Department: Education

EDUC44430: Judgement-based Assessment (Distance Learning)

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap None.


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The module should:
  • Develop students’ critical understanding of assessments which involve judgments made by individuals; such as those made at appointment interviews, in responding to questionnaires or assessing others through classroom observations.
  • Enable students to carry out judgment-based assessment in education critically and reflectively.


  • Interviews, questionnaires and observations as tools in assessment
  • Rating and partial credit scales in assessment
  • Psychology of judgement-based assessment
  • Use of statistical software to analyse judgement-based assessment
  • Ethics in assessment

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of the module students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge and a critical understanding of the theories and perspectives guiding judgement-based assessment using interviews, questionnaires and observations
  • Outline and explain the characteristics of rating and partial credit scales and how these are handled in Rasch analysis
  • Summarise and criticise the potential sources of bias in judgement-based assessment and how these may be tested and controlled
  • Describe the major issues established in psychology literature relating to judgment and how these apply to assessment
  • Discuss ethical questions and issues relating to assessment and procedures that should be followed when applying for ethics approval
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On completion of the module students should be able to:
  • Conduct and analyse interviews with awareness and critical reflection about their purpose and format
  • Design open-ended and closed questionnaires involving single level responses as well as Likert-items to form scales
  • Use statistical software to develop questionnaires and to analyse data from judgment-based assessment
  • Report development of questionnaires and interviews and results from these types of judgment-based assessments
  • Critically evaluate ethics involved in assessment
Key Skills:
  • On completion of the module students should be able to:
  • Critically analyse and present arguments, using theoretical sources and empirical evidence
  • Use computer and information technology (including internet and email use, word processing, spread sheets and statistical software)
  • Participate in and reflect on collaborative group/team work
  • Communicate ideas effectively, both orally and in writing

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

  • The module is delivered using a range of teaching and learning methods in a set of discrete Study Units. The units enable the learning outcomes to be achieved through a combination of specially written material, directed reading, reflection through self-and teachers assessed exercises, and guidance for further reading. Extensive use of learning technologies is employed to reinforce learning, including blogs, discussion boards, wikis, video streaming and podcasts. Teachers/module tutors provide feedback on formative work and are available for individual consultation as necessary (by email, telephone, post, fax and video-conferencing).
  • The assessment in the form of the writing a journal article will provide the opportunity for students to demonstrate the extent to which they have understood and are able to engage critically with the themes and issues covered under the learning outcomes of the module. The article will be written for submission to the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors’ (CIEA) electronic journal for postgraduate research studies. Having the assignment accepted is independent of the examination.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Online Lectures 16 0.5 8
Seminars, exercises and practical activities 16 1 16
Self-guided learning and fieldwork experience 276
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Journal article 5000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Compulsory seminar tasks, preliminary summary and outline of the assignment above, with additional critical bibliography to indicate reading undertaken.

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