AQA’s research experts team up with Oxford University and Ofqual in ground-breaking project

Monday 12 Sep 2016

AQA's Centre for Education Research and Practice (CERP) is working with Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment (OUCEA) and Ofqual on a long-term joint project to investigate standard setting in exams.

The project, 'Standard Setting and Maintaining in National Examinations', builds on AQA's long history of research into standard setting and focuses on how standards in national, school-leaving or university entrance examinations are set and maintained around the world.

AQA's Head of Research, Dr Lena Gray, had the idea for the project after she and Professor Jo-Anne Baird (OUCEA) had previously worked together on research into examination standards in England and Scotland and realised that more research into international standard setting was needed.

Dennis Opposs (Ofqual) and Dr Tina Isaacs (UCL) will also join the joint project, bringing their knowledge of how standard setting theories, policies and practices interact.

Speaking about the project, Dr Lena Gray said:

"I am thrilled to be part of this exciting and important project, and to be working with respected colleagues like Jo-Anne, Dennis and Tina.

"I'm also delighted that 15 examination boards from around the world have agreed to take part in the research. The project will bring together in one place all the existing data on standard setting processes in their jurisdictions, as well as generating new insights into this area, so it will be truly ground-breaking."

Experts will be invited to a symposium in Oxford next March, and a book will be published to support the research.

The researchers hope their findings will increase understanding of how different standard setting systems work and will be able to be applied by politicians, policy-makers, practitioners and academics in a range of national/federal systems.