Carmen Vidal Rodeiro

Carmen Vidal Rodeiro

Since joining Cambridge Assessment in 2005, I have worked on a wide range of projects, including research on progression routes, quality of marking and comparability of standards in high stakes examinations. I have also looked at subject choice (at AS/A level and in Higher Education), gender differences, the relationship between emotional intelligence and academic performance and the effects of modularity, maturity, multiple entry and re-sits on examination outcomes.

Much of my work involves the use educational databases such as the Inter-Awarding Body Statistics, the National Pupil Database and the HESA Student Records. I have expertise in the analysis and modelling of data using traditional and innovative statistical techniques and I am skilled in statistical programming in a number of languages including SAS and R. I have presented the outcomes of my work at national and international conferences and published in education and assessment journals.

My current areas of interest include designing and conducting impact studies in education, subject provision and uptake in schools and colleges, standards monitoring, and the validity of our assessments as predictors of university and career success both in the UK and internationally.

I hold a BSc in Mathematics and an MSc in Statistics from the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and a PhD in Statistics from the University of Aberdeen. I conducted two years of my doctoral research on disease map modelling and surveillance of diseases at the University of South Carolina.

Outside of work I enjoy reading, swimming and spending time at home or travelling with my husband and two children.

Publications

2018

Progression from Level 3 Cambridge Technicals to Higher Education

Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2018). Cambridge Assessment Research Report. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Assessment.

2017

From “AICE”-ing the test to earning the degree: enrollment and graduation patterns among students with the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Diploma
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L., Crawford, C. and Shaw, S. (2017). From “AICE”-ing the test to earning the degree: enrollment and graduation patterns among students with the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Diploma. College & University, 92(4), 12-23.

Partial absences in GCSE and AS/A level examinations

Vidal Rodeiro, C. L. (2017). Partial absences in GCSE and AS/A level examinations. Research Matters: A Cambridge Assessment publication, 24, 23-30.

There are certain situations in which a candidate does not have a mark for a component/unit in a GCSE or AS/A level examination. For example, if they were ill on the day of the exam, if their paper was lost, or if their controlled assessment was invalid as a result of individual or centre malpractice. Subject to certain rules, the awarding body can calculate an estimated mark for the component/unit with the missing mark to enable the candidate to certificate, rather than having to wait for the next assessment opportunity.

This article explores the use of statistical methods for handling missing data, specifically regression imputation, to estimate the mark for a missing unit/component in GCSE and AS/A level qualifications. The marks (and grades) obtained in this way are compared with the marks (and grades) obtained applying two different methods currently used by some of the awarding boards in England: the z-score method and the percentile (cum% position) method.

Predicting the success of the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Diploma in the United States
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L., Crawford, C. and Shaw, S. (2017). Presented at the International Association for Educational Assessment conference, Batumi, Georgia, 2-6 October 2017.
Education and employment destinations of students in England: the value of 14-19 qualifications
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. and Williamson, J. (2017). Presented at the British Educational Research Association conference, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, 5-7 September 2017.
“Meaningful” destinations: using national data to compare progression to higher education, employment and training from different education pathways in England
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. and Williamson, J. (2017). Presented at the European Conference of Educational Research, Copenhagen, Denmark, 22-25 August 2017.
Higher education choices of secondary school graduates with a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) background.
Gill, T., Vidal Rodeiro, C.L., and Zanini, N. (2017). Higher education choices of secondary school graduates with a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) background. Journal of Further and Higher Education (ahead of print).
The study of MFLs in England: uptake in secondary school and progression to Higher Education
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2017). Presented at the annual conference of the Association for Language Learning, Nottingham, UK, 24-25 March 2017.
The study of foreign languages in England: uptake in secondary school and progression to higher education
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2017). The study of foreign languages in England: uptake in secondary school and progression to higher education. Language, Culture and Curriculum: 20(3), 213-249.

2016

The study of Modern Foreign Languages in England: uptake in secondary school and progression to Higher Education
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2016). Presented at the annual conference of the British Educational Research Association, Leeds, 12-15 September 2016.
The effect of specialism and attainment in secondary school on the choice of Higher Education institution and field of study

Sutch, T., Zanini, N. & Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2016). The effect of specialism and attainment in secondary school on the choice of Higher Education institution and field of study. Research Matters: A Cambridge Assessment publication, 21, 2-11.

Progression from secondary to Higher Education (HE) has direct implications on wage returns and social mobility. The recent expansion of HE in the majority of European countries has highlighted that returns to HE are not just associated with the decision to study at university rather than enter the labour market, but also with the choice of studying in a particular field at a specific HE institution. Because the process of application and admission to universities in the United Kingdom (UK) places a strong weight on attainment, both overall and in specific subjects, the educational background of students is a key factor influencing progression from secondary education to specific fields of study and HE institutions. The aim of this article is to provide evidence about the relationship between educational background, measured by subject choice and attainment in the final years of secondary education,and HE participation in terms of institution attended and choice of the field of study, an area in which not much research has been carried out so far.

2015

The role of the A* grade at A level as a predictor of university performance in the United Kingdom
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. and Zanini, N. (2015). Oxford Review of Education, 41(5), 647-670.
The A* grade at A level in England: An evaluation of its use as a selection tool for Higher Education courses
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. and Zanini, N. (2015) Paper presented at the AEA-Europe annual conference, Glasgow, Scotland, 4-7 November 2015
Gender differences in GCSE
Bramley, T., Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. and Vitello, S. (2015) Cambridge Assessment Research Report. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Assessment.
An investigation into the numbers and candidates with incomplete entries at AS/A level
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2015) Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association (BERA) conference, Belfast, 15-17 September 2015
Students’ choices in Higher Education
Gill, T., Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. and Zanini, N. (2015) Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association (BERA) conference, Belfast, 15-17 September 2015
Progressing to Higher Education in the UK: The effect of prior learning on institution and field of study

Vidal Rodeiro, C.L., Sutch, T. and Zanini, N. (2015). Progressing to Higher Education in the UK: The effect of prior learning on institution and field of study. Research Matters: A Cambridge Assessment publication, 20, 13-21.

Students applying to study a course in a Higher Education (HE) institution have to make two choices: what subject to study and at which institution. These decisions are influenced by a range of different factors, for example their personal interests, their socio-economic background and, in particular, their prior qualifications and performance. However, new qualifications that aim to prepare learners for study at university have been introduced quite recently, some qualifications have been withdrawn, and others are being comprehensively reformed. It is therefore crucial to better understand how current qualifications, both academic and vocational, are used by young people to progress to HE. The main aim of this work was to provide detailed quantitative evidence to shed light on this topic. Specifically, the research focused on the following issues: understanding the range of qualifications and combinations of qualifications held by learners aged 16-19 who progressed to different types of HE institutions to study different subjects, and identifying the HE destinations (both institutions and subjects) of learners holding different types of qualifications and of learners with a mixed economy of qualifications.

Progressing to Higher Education in the UK: The effect of prior learning on institution and field of study

Vidal Rodeiro, C. Sutch, T. and Zanini, N. (2015). Progressing to Higher Education in the UK: The effect of prior learning on institution and field of study. Research Matters: A Cambridge Assessment publication, 20, 13-21.

Students applying to study a course in a Higher Education (HE) institution have to make two choices: what subject to study and at which institution. These decisions are influenced by a range of different factors, for example their personal interests, their socio-economic background and, in particular, their prior qualifications and performance. However, new qualifications that aim to prepare learners for study at university have been introduced quite recently, some qualifications have been withdrawn, and others are being comprehensively reformed. It is therefore crucial to better understand how current qualifications, both academic and vocational, are used by young people to progress to HE. The main aim of this work was to provide detailed quantitative evidence to shed light on this topic. Specifically, the research focused on the following issues: understanding the range of qualifications and combinations of qualifications held by learners aged 16-19 who progressed to different types of HE institutions to study different subjects, and identifying the HE destinations (both institutions and subjects) of learners holding different types of qualifications and of learners with a mixed economy of qualifications.

2014

The role of the A* grade at A-level as a predictor of university performance
Zanini, N. & Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2014), Society for Research into Higher Education Annual Conference, Newport, Wales, 10-12 December 2014
Progression routes to post-16 science qualifications
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2014) Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association (BERA) conference, London, 23-25 September 2014
Pathways to Higher Education: the effect of different prior qualifications on institution and field of study
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L., Sutch, T. & Zanini, N. (2014). Presented at the annual conference of the British Educational Research Association, London, 23-25 September 2014.
How do A level subjects and grades determine university choices?
Zanini, N., Sutch, T. & Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2014). Presented at the annual conference of the British Educational Research Association, London, 23-25 September 2014.
Academic and vocational pathways to higher education and their impact on the choice of institution and field of study
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L., Sutch, T. and Zanini, N. (2014) Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), Porto, 1 -5 September 2014
Predictive validity of level 3 qualifications
Gill, T. and Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2014) Cambridge Assessment Research Report. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Assessment.
Multiple entries in GCSE/IGCSE qualifications
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2014) Cambridge Assessment Research Report. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Assessment.
Using statistical equating for standard maintaining in GCSEs and A levels
Bramley, T. and Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2014) Cambridge Assessment Research Report. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Assessment.

2013

Do Cambridge Nationals support progression to further studies at school or college, to higher education courses and to workbased learning?
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2013). Presented at Journal of Vocational Education and Training conference, Oxford, 5-7 July 2013.
Comparing progression routes to post-16 Science qualifications

Vidal Rodeiro, C. L. (2013). Comparing progression routes to post-16 Science qualifications. Research Matters: A Cambridge Assessment publication, 16, 15-23.

Awarding bodies in England provide schools and students with a wide choice of level 2 (aimed to 14-16 year-olds) science qualifications designed to ensure that pupils study science that is relevant and up-to-date. However, it has been argued that some courses may not be good preparation for the study of science at a higher level. Consequently some students may decide not to pursue a science subject post-16 or, if they do so, they may drop it or not fulfil their potential. This work aimed to collect detailed information (e.g., prior attainment, level of deprivation and school attended) about the students who obtained different level 2 science qualifications and investigate their uptake of and performance in post-16 science courses.

Prior learning of undergraduates in UK Higher Education institutions
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L., Sutch, T. and Zanini, N. (2013) Cambridge Assessment Research Report. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Assessment.
Popularity of A level subjects among UK university students
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. and Sutch, T. (2013) Statistical Report Series No. 52

2012

Do different assessment routes (linear vs. modular) prepare students, in the same way, for further study?
Vidal Rodeiro C.L. (2012) EARLI Assessment and Evaluation conference, Brussels, 28-31 August 2012
Cambridge Assessment Statistics Reports: Recent highlights

Emery, J., Gill, T., Grayson, R. and Vidal Rodeiro, C. L. (2012). Cambridge Assessment Statistics Reports: Recent highlights. Research Matters: A Cambridge Assessment publication, 14, 45-50.

The Research Division publishes a number of Statistics Reports each year based on the latest national examinations data. These are statistical summaries of various aspects of the English examination system, covering topics such as subject provision and uptake, popular subject combinations, trends over time in the uptake of particular subjects and the examination attainment of different groups of candidates. The National Pupil Database (NPD) is the source of most of these reports. This is a very large longitudinal database, owned by the Department for Education, which tracks the examination attainment of all pupils within schools in England from their early years up to Key Stage 5 (A level or equivalent). Another database, the Pupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC), can be requested matched to the NPD. This contains background information on candidates such as deprivation indicators, language, ethnicity and special educational needs. Other sources of data used to produce the Statistics Reports include the Inter-Awarding Body Statistics produced by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ). This article highlights some of the most recent Statistics Reports, published between 2010 and 2011.

Uptake of ICT and computing qualifications in schools in England 2010-2011
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2012) Statistics Report Series No. 40 (Update of Statistics Report Series No. 25)
Provision of level 2 science qualifications in 2011
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2012) Statistics Report Series No. 39
Using the NPD and PLASC in examinations research
Grayson, R., Gill, T., Emery, J. and Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2012).
An investigation into the number of special consideration enhancements and their impact on examination grades

Vidal Rodeiro, C. L. (2012). An investigation into the number of special consideration enhancements and their impact on examination grades. Research Matters: A Cambridge Assessment publication, 13, 11-17.

Special consideration is a reasonable adjustment for students who were fully prepared for an examination and covered the course, but whose performance was affected by circumstances beyond their control (e.g., recent bereavement, serious accident, illness). This research investigated the number of special consideration requests (over time, by qualification and by school type) and the effect of the enhancements on the overall grades in a range of GCSE and A level subjects.

The research shows that the number of special consideration applications rose in the period of study, with more requests at A level than at GCSE. Furthermore, candidates in independent schools were more likely to submit a request for special consideration than candidates in state schools. The special consideration enhancements considered in this work were minor adjustments to candidates’ marks, with the most common tariff applied being 2% of the unit/component mark (normally due to minor illnesses at the time of the examination). As a result, the percentages of students improving their overall grades in GCSE and A level subjects were very small (lower than 1% in all subjects considered). 

Effects of modularity, certification session and re-sits on examination performance
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. and Nadas, R. (2012) Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice

2011

Emotional intelligence and academic attainment of British secondary school children: a cross-sectional survey
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L, Emery, J.L. and Bell, J.F. (2011) Educational Studies
Linear or modular - does one size fit all?
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L., Nadas, R. and Green, S. (2011). Paper presented at the AEA-Europe conference Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland November 2011.
Do special consideration enhancements skew examination grades?
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2011) British Educational Research Association, London
The effects of GCSE modularisation: a comparison between modular and linear examinations in secondary education

Vidal Rodeiro, C. L. and Nadas, R. (2011). The effects of GCSE modularisation: a comparison between modular and linear examinations in secondary education. Research Matters: A Cambridge Assessment publication, 11, 7-13.

As part of a recent reform in education, the assessment of GCSEs is now organised into modules which can either be taken at the end of the course in a linear fashion, or can be taken throughout the course in a modular approach to teaching and learning.

Previous research suggested that students who are assessed early in the course are disadvantaged by their immaturity, if not by their narrower experience of the subject and perform worse than those assessed at the end. Also, it has been argued that regular feedback on performance helps to identify learning needs and encourages students to do better.

The present study set out to investigate the above claims combining quantitative and qualitative research. In the quantitative strand of the research, the performances of English and mathematics students were analysed. In the qualitative strand, questionnaires and interviews with students and teachers of both subjects were conducted.

The BioMedical Admissions Test for medical student selection: Issues of fairness and bias
Emery, J.L., Bell, J.F. and Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2011) Medical Teacher, 33, 62-71

2010

Uptake of ICT and computing qualifications in schools in England 2007-2009
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2010) Statistics Report Series No. 25
The effects of the new modular GCSE examinations on students' outcomes, motivation and workload
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. & Nadas, R. (2010) British Educational Research Association (BERA), Warwick
The effects of the new modular GCSE examinations on students’ outcomes, motivation and workload
Vidal Rodeiro, C. & Nadas, R. (2010) Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association, Warwick.
Provision of science subjects at GCSE 2009
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2010) Statistics Report Series No. 15
Effects of modularisation
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L and Nadas, R. (2010)
Can emotional and social abilities predict differences in progress at secondary school? (Poster presentation)

2009

Aspects of AS and A-level Physics Uptake
Gill, T., Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. and Bell, J.F. (2009) British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference
Uptake of GCSE and A-level subjects in England by Ethnic Group 2007
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2009) Statistics Report Series No. 11
'Happy Birthday to you'; but not if it's summertime

Oates, T., Sykes, E., Emery, J., Bell, J.F. and Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2009). Research Matters: A Cambridge Assessment publication, 8, 43-45.

For years, evidence of a birthdate effect has stared out of qualifications data for the United Kingdom; summer-born children appear to be strongly disadvantaged. Whilst those responsible for working on this data have tried to bring public attention to this issue, it has been neglected by agencies central to education and training policy.
Researchers at Cambridge Assessment have had a long interest in the birthdate effect because it is so readily observable in the assessment data with which they have worked. More recently, Cambridge Assessment decided to review the issue with the intention to advance the understanding of the extent and causes of the birthdate effect in the English education system. Although the review focuses on understanding the birthdate effect in England, it uses international comparisons as one means of throwing light on key factors. This article outlines the findings of the review.

Some issues on the uptake of Modern Foreign Languages at GCSE
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2009) Statistics Report Series No. 10
Can trait EI predict differences in attainment and progress in secondary school
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L, Bell, J.F and Emery, J.L (2009) British Psychological Society, Brighton
Birthdate Effects: A Review of the Literature from 1990-on
Sykes, E.D.A, Bell J.F and Vidal Rodeiro, C.L (2009)

2008

Can emotional and social abilities predict differences in attainment at secondary school?
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L., Bell, J.F. and Emery, J.L. (2008) British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference and International Association for Educational Assessment (IAEA) Conference

2007

Uptake of GCSE subjects 2000-2006
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2007) Statistics Report Series No. 4
Use of prior or concurrent measures of educational attainment when studying comparability of examinations using multilevel models
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L.  (2007) Presented at the Sixth International Amsterdam Conference on Multilevel Analysis, 16-17 April 2007.

2006

Neighbourhood, school and individual effects on success at GCE A-level: a multilevel analysis
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. & Bell, J. F. (2006). Presented at the annual conference of the British Educational Research Association, Warwick, 6-9 September 2006.
Agreement between outcomes from different double marking models
Vidal Rodeiro, C.L. (2006) Presented at British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, Warwick, UK, 6-9 September 2006.
Uptake of GCE A-level subjects in England 2001-2005
Vidal Rodeiro, C. L. (2006) Statistics Report Series No.3

2005

Provision of GCE A-level subjects
Vidal Rodeiro, C. L. (2005) Statistics Report Series No.1

Research Matters

Research Matters

Research Matters is our free biannual publication which allows us to share our assessment research, in a range of fields, with the wider assessment community.