Understanding the fundamentals of research and research methods to empower assessment practices

Understanding the fundamentals of research and research methods to empower assessment practices Man delivering webinar
Date: Dates to be confirmed Venue: Online
Type: Workshop series Fee: £265 (Members - £238.50)

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Are my assessments fit-for-purpose? Can I trust my assessment results for their different uses? Can my assessments be improved? Are the changes to my assessments having the desired outcome?

These are some examples of important questions that research can help you answer.

By understanding what good quality research is and how to conduct it, you will be able to gather and use research evidence effectively to inform decisions about your assessment design, improvements, and redevelopment.

Our new series of three 2 hour interactive workshops will provide you with a balance of theory and practice so you can further empower your assessments.

Over three weeks, researchers from Cambridge University Press & Assessment will share key principles and approaches they follow when carrying out their research.

Throughout this workshop series, you will develop your knowledge of research purposes, methods and good practice that are relevant to the assessment context.

You will also have opportunities to practise applying your research knowledge, helping you to develop your research skills. Each session builds on the learning from the last, with a chance to implement and reflect on the content during the time in between sessions.

The workshops have been designed as an introduction to research and research methods for anyone who has a role in supporting or improving assessment practices. You will explore a broad range of research and data types (including common qualitative and quantitative approaches such as surveys and focus groups), and critically reflect on when and why you would use each one.

This workshop series will give you the understanding and practical skills to plan and conduct your own research and to use research evidence more effectively, whether you’re new to research, or more experienced.

Workshop dates

Session 1 TBC | 12:30 - 14:30 (UK time) Title:  Exploring the purposes and aims of research
Session 2 TBC | 12:30 - 14:30 (UK time) Title:  Developing good practice in conducting and using research
Session 3 TBC | 12:30 - 14:30 (UK time) Title:  Thinking like a critical researcher and research user

Course outline

By the end of the three-week training course (three 2-hour workshops), you will be equipped with fundamental principles about research and you will have practised applying your research skills. This will help you to use research to support and improve your assessment practices.

  • Session 1 - Explores the different types of research that are relevant to assessment practitioners, and the different ways that research can support assessment practices. You will also consider how to design the research questions to support the purposes of the research.
  • Session 2 - Explores the practical aspects of conducting and using research. This will include exploring common research methods useful for the assessment context. You will learn about good practice in various aspects of research, including design, ethics, data management and data analysis.
  • Session 3 - Provides opportunities to bring together the content from Session 1 and Session 2 by practising your research skills. This will include activities to practise designing your own study and also to critique published research.

Key learning outcomes

By the end of the three workshops, you will be able to:

  1. Distinguish between different purposes and aims of research.
  2. Identify ways by which research may support your assessment practices.
  3. Recognise a range of research methods that are relevant to assessment practices.
  4. Apply good practice when conducting your own research.
  5. Critically reflect on your own research activities.
  6. Critically evaluate other researchers’ studies.

Course trainers

Sylvia Vitello Dr Sylvia Vitello is a Senior Researcher in the Assessment Research and Development division at Cambridge University Press & Assessment. She holds a PhD in Experimental Psychology from University College London. Her current research focuses on assessment design for general and vocational qualifications as well as broader education topics such as equality, diversity and artificial intelligence. Across her research, she has used a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods.


Emma Walland Emma Walland is a Research Officer at Cambridge University Press & Assessment. Since joining the Research Division in 2018, she has worked on a range of assessment and education research projects. Her current research interests include assessment and education reform, technological innovations in education, and marking strategies and practices. Her educational background is in psychology and research methods, and she has recently completed a Postgraduate Advanced Certificate in Educational Studies.


Dominika Majewska Dominika Majewska is a Researcher in the Assessment Research and Development Division of Cambridge University Press & Assessment. Her background is in psychology and education. She holds a Master’s degree in Research Methods in Psychology from the University of Kent, and a PGCE (Secondary Psychology) from the University of Sussex.

Dominika has a wide range of research interests, including teaching and learning, curriculum development and international comparisons of education systems. She has worked with schools and learners of different ages in various capacities, including teaching, research and outreach.


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