Filio Constantinou

Filio Constantinou

Filio Constantinou

I am an educational researcher and practitioner specialising in educational assessment and educational linguistics.

My research at Cambridge University Press and Assessment has explored a wide range of questions spanning the areas of assessment, curriculum and pedagogy. Recent examples include: how question writers develop examination papers; what effective examination questions look like; how novel examination questions can be; how errors in examination papers occur; what synoptic assessment is and how it can be incorporated into qualifications; how examination papers have changed over time; how students’ examination writing has changed over time; why some subjects are less popular than others; and how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted teaching and learning.

Since joining Cambridge University Press and Assessment, much of my work has involved supporting our examination boards to (re)develop their academic and vocational qualifications by carrying out relevant research and translating its outcomes into practical guidance.

Apart from being a researcher, I am also a practitioner with teaching and assessment experience in both primary and tertiary education. I started my studies at the University of Cyprus where I completed a BA in Education, and then pursued various postgraduate studies at the University of York (MA in Language Education) and the University of Cambridge (PhD in Educational Linguistics; MPhil in Educational Research; PGCert in Educational Assessment and Examinations).

Outside of work, I am involved in a Cambridge University initiative for promoting community languages (CRiCLE Network ). I am also learning Spanish, and I enjoy reading, hiking and travelling.

Publications

2021

Defining and operationalising synoptic assessment
Constantinou, F. (2021, November 3-5). Defining and operationalising synoptic assessment [Paper presentation]. Annual conference of the Association for Educational Assessment – Europe (AEA-Europe) [online].
How novel can examination questions really be? Exploring the boundaries of creativity in examination question writing
Constantinou, F. (2021). How novel can examination questions really be? Exploring the boundaries of creativity in examination question writing. Research Papers in Education.

2020

What is synoptic assessment? Defining and operationalising an as yet non-mainstream assessment concept.
Constantinou, F. (2020). What is synoptic assessment? Defining and operationalising an as yet non-mainstream assessment concept. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice, 27(6), 670-686.
Examination questions as a form of communication between the examiner and the examinee: a sociolinguistic perspective on assessment practice
Constantinou, F. (2020). Examination questions as a form of communication between the examiner and the examinee: a sociolinguistic perspective on assessment practice. Cambridge Journal of Education, 50(6), 711-728
Using corpus linguistics tools to identify instances of low linguistic accessibility in tests

Beauchamp, D. and Constantinou, F. (2020). Using corpus linguistics tools to identify instances of low linguistic accessibility in tests. Research Matters: A Cambridge Assessment publication, 29, 10-16.

Assessment is a useful process as it provides various stakeholders (e.g., teachers, parents, government, employers) with information about students' competence in a particular subject area. However, for the information generated by assessment to be useful, it needs to support valid inferences. One factor that can undermine the validity of inferences from assessment outcomes is the language of the assessment material. For example, the use of excessively complex grammar and difficult vocabulary in the formulation of test questions may prevent students from displaying their true knowledge and skills (e.g., students who are not native speakers of the target language). In an attempt to support teachers and test developers in designing linguistically accessible assessment material, this study explored practical ways of investigating the linguistic complexity of test questions both at the level of vocabulary (lexical complexity) and grammar (syntactic complexity). The study compiled three corpora of examination questions and undertook automated lexical and syntactic analyses of these questions using software packages that are typically employed in the field of corpus linguistics.

Non-standard English in UK students' writing over time.
Constantinou, F., & Chambers, L. (2020). Non-standard English in UK students' writing over time. Language and Education, 34(1), 22-35.

2019

Tests as texts: investigating test questions from a sociolinguistic perspective
Constantinou, F. (2019). Tests as texts: investigating test questions from a sociolinguistic perspective. Presented at the 20th Annual AEA-Europe conference, Lisbon, Portugal, 13-16 November 2019.
Why are some subjects less popular than others? Extending the debate.
Constantinou, F. (2019). Why are some subjects less popular than others? Extending the debate. Presented at the biennal conference of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI), Aachen, Germany, August 2019.
To what extent is the language of this test question readable? Tools for investigating the linguistic accessibility of assessment material.
Beauchamp., D. and Constantinou, F. (2019). To what extent is the language of this test question readable? Tools for investigating the linguistic accessibility of assessment material. Presented at the annual conference of the British Educational Research Association, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, 10-12 September 2019.
The construct of language competence over time: using high-stakes tests to gain insight into the history of L1 education in England
Constantinou, F. (2019). The construct of language competence over time: using high-stakes tests to gain insight into the history of L1 education in England. Language and Education, 33(6), 491-505.
A diachronic perspective on formality in students' writing: empirical findings from the UK
Constantinou, F., Chambers, L., Zanini, N. and Klir, N. (2019). A diachronic perspective on formality in students' writing: empirical findings from the UK. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 33(1), 66-83.
A question of quality: Conceptualisations of quality in the context of educational test questions

Crisp, V., Johnson, M. and Constantinou, F. (2019) A question of quality: Conceptualisations of quality in the context of educational test questions. Research in Education, 105 (1), 18-41.

2018

Constructs over time: the construct of language competence as captured in tests in England over the last 150 years
Constantinou, F. (2018). Constructs over time: the construct of language competence as captured in tests in England over the last 150 years. Presented at the 19th annual AEA-Europe conference, Arnhem/Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 7-10 November 2018.
'That path won't lead nowhere': non-standard English in UK students' writing over time
Constantinou, F. and Chambers, L. (2018). 'That path won't lead nowhere': non-standard English in UK students' writing over time. Presented at the annual conference of the British Educational Research Association (BERA), Newcastle, UK, September 2018.
Strong and weak ‘brands’ in the school curriculum: towards a framework for levelling the curriculum hierarchy
Constantinou, F. (2018). Strong and weak ‘brands’ in the school curriculum: towards a framework for levelling the curriculum hierarchy. Research Papers in Education, 34(5), 553-568.

2017

Alternative uses of examination data: the case of English Language writing
Chambers, L., Constantinou, F., Zanini, N. and Klir, N. (2017). Presented at the 18th annual AEA Europe conference, Prague, 9-11 November 2017.
Formality in students’ writing over time: empirical findings from the UK
Constantinou, F., Chambers, L., Zanini, N. and Klir, N. (2017). Presented at the annual European Conference of Educational Research, Copenhagen, Denmark, 22-25 August 2017
Multiple voices in tests: towards a macro theory of test writing
Constantinou, F., Crisp, V. and Johnson, M. (2017).  Multiple voices in tests: towards a macro theory of test writing.  Cambridge Journal of Education, 48(8), 411-426.
How do question writers compose external examination questions? Question writing as a socio-cognitive process
Johnson, M., Constantinou, F. and Crisp, V. (2017). How do question writers compose external examination questions? Question writing as a socio-cognitive process. British Educational Research Journal (BERJ). 43(4), 700-719.

2016

How do question writers compose examination questions? Question writing as a socio-cognitive process
Johnson, M., Constantinou, F. and Crisp, V. (2016). Paper presented at the AEA-Europe annual conference, Limassol, Cyprus, 3-5 November 2016
'Question quality': The concept of quality in the context of exam questions
Crisp, V., Johnson, M. and Constantinou, F. (2016). Paper presented at the AEA-Europe annual conference, Limassol, Cyprus,3-5 November 2016
Writing questions for examination papers: a creative process?
Constantinou, F., Crisp, V. and Johnson, M. (2016). Paper presented at the 8th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction (EARLI) SIG 1 - Assessment and Evaluation, Munich, Germany, 24-26 August 2016

2015

Piloting a method for comparing examination question paper demands
Chambers, L., Greatorex, J., Constantinou, F. and Ireland, J. (2015). Paper presented at the AEA-Europe annual conference, Glasgow, Scotland, 4-7 November 2015.
Piloting a method for comparing examination question paper demands
Greatorex, J., Chambers, L., Constantinou, F. and Ireland, J. (2015).  Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association (BERA) conference, Belfast, UK, 14-17 September 2015.

Research Matters

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