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The challenges of evaluating the impact of changes to qualification specifications on student learning and development

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New qualification specifications alone cannot drive educational change. An evaluation of the impact of specification change has to consider the, usually complex, context and influence of a range of other variables, including external policy drivers such as performance targets, stakeholder perceptions of the ‘value’ of particular qualifications, the quality and context of teaching and learning, and measures introduced to ensure that the first candidates to complete the new specifications do not suffer disadvantage as a result. This is often coupled with tight reporting timeframes, which make measures of impact more problematic.

The challenge of evaluating the impact of specification change on student learning and development is discussed in relation to recent evaluation work on the impact of changes to A level and GCSE specifications, undertaken from March 2010 until December 2011.

This talk is part of the Current Issues in Assessment series.

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