About us

The Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment (OUCEA) was established in October 2007. Associate Professor Therese N. Hopfenbeck is its Director.

The Centre, based in Oxford’s Department of Education, is interested in all aspects of research into assessment in education but especially assessment’s role in public policy and system-level change. The Centre’s main research aims are:

  • Conduct research into the role of assessment in developing, implementing and monitoring system-level change.
  • Develop models of educational assessment to increase understanding of learning processes, resource use and outcomes in education systems.
  • Critically examine notions of validity, reliability and standards in relation to different modes of assessment and to different purposes.
  • Evaluate the potential for the use and application of psychometrics to enhance the validity and reliability of educational assessment.
  • Explore the opportunities for, and the impacts of, new assessment technologies in test design, test distribution, test administration and results delivery.

Effective networking with specialists in educational assessment internationally is integral to the work of OUCEA. It works collaboratively with other researchers and agencies on the challenges confronting education systems in the quest for global qualifications and standards.

Most recently, the Centre has launched a new MSc course in Educational Assessment at a time when high quality educational assessment is recognised as a core element of a strong education system. Further information here – MSc Educational Assessment