Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module EDUC2411: Assessing Education

Department: Education

EDUC2411: Assessing Education

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2023/24 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, when 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 10 1 hour 10
Seminars 10 2 hours 20
Private study, reading and research 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2500 words 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

A one-page outline of essay plan (500 words) with headings, sub-headings, bullet points and references. 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. Include a brief overview of literature in relation to the assessment topic.

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