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Unit information: Assessment in Schools in 2015/16

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Unit name Assessment in Schools
Unit code EDUCM0037
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Rosamund Sutherland
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit considers the relationship between teaching and assessment in schools and examines critically recent and current developments in assessment. It will consider the benefits and costs of various methods of assessment in school and study the role of assessment in the National Curriculum of the UK and within other school cultures. The key issues in assessment as a formative tool to support learning will be examined.

The Unit Aims:

  • To evaluate current methods of assessment in schools.
  • To examine possible future developments in assessment in schools.
  • To enable participants to develop their understanding in key areas of personal professional interest.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit students will be able to demonstrate that they:

  • have an awareness of a range of important issues within the field of assessment in school.
  • have critically reviewed research and other writings in an aspect of assessment to develop a seminar presentation.
  • have presented material to gain feedback and developed academic writing through this process.
  • are able to organise material for presentation.
  • are able to develop ideas through presentation and feedback.
  • have practised working with others through contribution to and leading discussions.

Teaching Information

Sessions will be of two types: those involving activities using reading and other source material to examine key current issues in assessment in schools, and those in which course participants lead seminars on a topic of their choice. These will be guided by discussion between participants and the course tutor. A tutorial is offered for discussion of the assignment.

Contact Hours

20 hours

Assessment Information

Formative & Summative assessment:

Participants will lead a seminar (formative assessment) and then submit a written account, of 4000 words (summative assesment), of their research topic. This will be informed by discussion during the seminar and wider reading. There will therefore be opportunities for formative assessment, modelling ideas presented in the unit’s content.

Reading and References

  • Broadfoot, PM, Timmis, SE, Payton, S, Oldfield, A & Sutherland, RJ 2013, ‘Rethinking Assessment 2012/2013 Series of Discussion Papers: Six discussion papers published by University of Bristol’.

Key readings will be determined by the topic being investigated. This will include recommendations from relevant academic journals giving a sense of historical developments in thinking about assessment in the UK.