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The effects of GCSE modularisation: a comparison between modular and linear examinations in secondary education

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Vidal Rodeiro, Carmen 
Nadas, Rita 


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.



Assessment design, Standards, Evaluation of assessment, GCSE/IGCSE

Journal Title

Research Matters

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Research Division, Cambridge University Press & Assessment

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