Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)

Module EDUC42530: Judgement-based Assessment

Department: Education

EDUC42530: Judgement-based Assessment

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.


  • Standardised Tests and Exams.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • 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 an 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, spreadsheets 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

  • An intensive programme of lectures, seminars (including group work), practical tasks, tutorials, drawing on relevant field work experience and self-guided learning. Lectures will give up-to-date knowledge of educational assessment and help structure students’ own study and learning towards the learning objectives. Seminars will facilitate a more in-depth student engagement with themes and issues raised in the lectures. They will include practical activities and skills training. Seminars will also be linked to field work, either conducting assessment in learning institutions/assessment agencies or working with data from one of these. The format of lectures and in particular seminar exercises will enable students to critically discuss assessment issues. 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 should be submitted in a form appropriate to the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors’ (CIEA) electronic journal for postgraduate research studies.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 1 hour 10
Seminars, practical activities 10 2 hours 20
Self-guided learning and fieldwork experience 270
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