Dr Yasmine El Masri

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College.

Yasmine joined OUCEA in January 2012, as a doctoral student and completed her DPhil in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master’s of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB). Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi.

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees.

Currently, Yasmine is leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in the England. Moreover, Yasmine has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine has a presence on LinkedIn, ResearchGate  and Twitter:@Y_Masri.
Email: yasmine.elmasri@education.ox.ac.uk


Yasmine’s research focuses upon assessment design and features that impact on task demands and difficulty. She has a particular interest in science assessments and the effects of language and culture on the comparability of assessments.


Yasmine contributes to the teaching of modules within the Master’s in Educational Assessment programme and leads Core Module 2 – Assessment Design.


Current students

Zhanxin Hao, DPhil candidate (2018- ), Department of Education University of Oxford. Working title: The predictability of National College Entrance Examination China.

Former students

James Barringer, Master’s in Learning and Teaching. Title: To what extent do students’ and teachers’ perspectives demonstrate that dialogic marking is an effective approach to feedback in a UK secondary school? Completed dissertation with Distinction.

Interested in supervising students in the following areas

  • Task demands and difficulty
  • Assessment Design
  • Assessment across cultures
  • Science assessments
  • International large-scale assessment (PIRLS, PISA)

Research grants

Project Calibrate – Enhancing Summative Assessment of Practical Science: A Systemic Approach: Study Leader and Member of the Project Management Board, Wellcome Trust, (2018-2021), £270,773

Using Technology in Science Tasks: Reducing Language Barriers for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: Principal Investigator, ESRC GCRF, (2017-2018), £100,000

AKU Language Policy Thinking Group, Principal Investigator, Aga Khan University (2016-2017), £20,000

SLATE (Centre for the Science of Learning & Technology) International Collaborator, University of Bergen, Norway, (2016 – 2021), £4 million

Improving task difficulty models: Co-Investigator, Pearson Inc., (2015), $84,000


Journal articles

Hopfenbeck, T.N., Lenkeit, J., El Masri, Y.H., Cantrell, K., Ryan, J. & Baird, J. Lessons Learned from PISA: A Systematic Review of Peer-Reviewed Articles on the Programme for International Student Assessment. (2018). Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 62(3), 333-353.

El Masri, Y.H., Ferrara, S., Foltz, P.W., Baird, J. (2017). Predicting Item Difficulty of science National Curriculum tests: The case of Key Stage 2 assessments, Curriculum Journal, 28(1), pp. 59-82.

El Masri, Y.H., Baird, J.; Graesser, A. (2016). Language effects in international testing: the case of PISA 2006 science items. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 23(4), 427-455.

El-Masri, Y. & Vlaardingerbroek, B. (2010). Science textbook readability in Lebanon: A comparison between Anglophone and francophone learning milieux. Mediterranean Journal of Education Studies, 15(1), 109-124.

Vlaardingerbroek, B.; Jaber, L.Z. & El-Masri, Y.H. (2008), The Lebanese Brevet Professionnel: Resurgence of a lower secondary vocational track. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 60, 413-422.

Vlaardingerbroek, B. & El-Masri, Y.H. (2008). Student transition to upper secondary vocational and technical education (VTE) in Lebanon: From stigma to success. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 60, 19-33.

Vlaardingerbroek, B. & El-Masri, Y.H. (2006). The status of evolutionary theory in undergraduate biology programmes at Lebanese universities: A comparative study. International Journal of Educational Reform, 15, 150-163.

Book chapters

El Masri, Y.H. (2018). International assessments of science: Key points explained. In I. Banner & J. Hillier (eds.), ASE Guide to Secondary Science. Association for Science Education.


El Masri, Y.H., Rea-Dickins, P. & Boggs, J. (2017). Language issues in EMI contexts with specific reference to Aga Khan University: A literature review. OUCEA & AKU Report.

Hopfenbeck, T., Tolo, A., Florez, T. & El Masri, Y. (2013). Balancing Trust and Accountability? The Assessment for Learning Programme in Norway. OECD Report.


  • Research Fellow

+44 (0)1865 274375