September 24, 2020
Too much testing in schools

Too much testing in schools?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

Too much testing?

It’s a common complaint from students, teachers, the press, and even the odd politician: there’s just too much testing in schools...

September 4, 2020
Does predictive data limit ambition or maximise potential

Does predictive data limit ambition or maximise potential?

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The short answer: it all depends on how you use the data.

Teachers are not fortune tellers or magicians despite the wonders they can often work...

August 28, 2020
How do we make predictions of future exam outcomes

How do we make predictions of future exam outcomes?

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By Andrew Lyth, Statistician, CEM

At CEM, we make predictions by applying statistical techniques to the data we have on the exam performances and baseline measures of students...

August 19, 2020
How baseline assessment can support you when schools return

How baseline assessments can support you when schools return

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By Kate Bailey, Director of Policy and Kate McKim, Marketing Executive at CEM

The COVID-19 crisis has caused widespread school closures in 188 countries and 1.7 billion children, young people and their families have been disrupted as a direct result (OECD, 2020)...

August 12, 2020

Beginning a journey

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By Mark Frazer, Teaching and Learning Lead at CEM

As the new school year draws near, many teachers will be planning the ‘educational journey’ for their new students, and knowing precisely where all of your students are starting from is invaluable...

July 17, 2020
5 reasons to use adaptive tests

5 reasons to use adaptive tests

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Assessment in education has always been an important issue, and each school has its own approach...

July 1, 2020
How does assessment data impact student learning?

How does assessment data impact student learning?

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By Kate Bailey, Director of Policy, CEM

Data has always played a critical role in making good decisions in commerce and in the health sector, but education has lagged behind a bit...

June 12, 2020
10 Top tips for using data in schools

10 top tips for using data in schools

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By Suzanne Crocker, Product Manager, Cambridge International and CEM data expert

There is so much data available in schools that it can be overwhelming; whole school, cohort, comparisons within a cohort, historical comparisons, subject, class, individual student, teacher-generated. So if you want the data to make a real impact on student achievement, where do you start?...

May 1, 2020
Covid-19 and learning loss

COVID-19 and learning loss

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There is no research that can show us what the educational impact of COVID-19 school closures might be. Never in our lifetimes have so many schools for so many children been closed...

April 8, 2020
Data A Silver Lining

Data: a silver lining

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It was inevitable: the school closures were going to present more than a few challenges for children, parents and teachers...

February 12, 2020
Baseline Assessment: Make it work for you

Baseline Assessment: Make it work for you

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By Katharine Bailey, CEM Director of Policy

We know it is vital that teachers have access to reliable information to support them in making the best decisions, so they can transform the academic outcomes of the children they teach...

June 20, 2019
An exercise in mega-silliness

Is meta-analysis all just ‘an exercise in mega-silliness’?

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By Stuart Kime

To my mind, there was something heroic about Gene Glass’ presidential address to the 1976 American Educational Research Association annual meeting...

June 14, 2019
Meta Analysis Blog

Meta-analysis: Don’t do it or Do it more carefully?

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By Philippa Cordingley

Meta-analyses (like the popular Sutton Trust Tool Kit and Hattie’s Visible Learning) apparently offer a more sophisticated and orderly approach to our world than the messy reality of day to day practice...

June 11, 2019
Is Meta-Analysis the best we can do?

Is meta-analysis the best we can do?

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By Professor Steve Higgins

Is meta-analysis in its current state trustworthy enough to be a basis for practitioner decisions?...

June 6, 2019
Introducing the 50 Percent Rule

The Big Evidence Debate: Introducing the 50% rule

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By Lee Elliot-Major

As a news editor, I developed my own 50% rule: reporters should spend as much time writing their stories as getting the stories in the first place. Journalists often race back into the newsroom with great tales to tell...

May 30, 2019
Phil Stock Blog Meta-Analysis

Meta-analyses and the making of an evidence-informed profession

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By Phil Stock

Before entering into a broader discussion about the use of meta-analysis in school decision-making, it’s worth appreciating just how far teaching has progressed towards becoming an evidence-informed profession...

May 24, 2019
Systematic Reviews and meta-analyses

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses – what’s all the fuss?

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By Megan Dixon

Should we be using systematic reviews and meta-analyses as teachers and school leaders to support the decisions we make, or is that a luxury? How do they actually help?...

May 20, 2019
Where is the value in meta-analysis

Where is the value in meta-analysis?

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By Dr Niki Kaiser

Before I trained as a teacher, I worked as a researcher, investigating the effect of phytoplankton processes in the ocean...

April 17, 2019
Apples and Oranges

Comparing apples with oranges

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How do you compare apples with oranges? Or even apples with oranges with cherries with bananas with peaches?

This isn’t a joke question that has a pithy punchline...

February 6, 2019
The Big Evidence Debate

The Big Evidence Debate

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By Rob Coe

Meta-analysis involves the aggregation of data from existing studies that share key features, in order to create a summary that reflects all the available evidence...

September 12, 2018
Systematic Reviews and Weather Systems

Systematic Reviews and Weather Forecasts – how purpose shapes the significance of systematic reviews for different education stakeholders

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By Philippa Cordingley, Paul Crisp & Steve Higgins

We are planning a barbeque in our new house next weekend and we want to know if it’s going to rain. We look at the weather forecast and it tells us there’s a 25% chance of rain...

September 6, 2018
What should we do about meta-analysis and effect size

What should we do about meta-analysis and effect size?

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By Rob Coe

In part 1 of this series of blog posts, I set out some of the recent criticisms that have been made by researchers such as Wiliam, Simpson and Slavin about the use of effect sizes to compare the impact of different interventions and the resulting problems in combining them in meta-analysis...

September 5, 2018
Serious Critiques of Meta-Analysis and Effect Size

Serious critiques of meta-analysis and effect size: researchED 2018

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Rob Coe

Since I became a researcher in the late 1990s, I have been an advocate of using effect size and meta-analysis for summarising and combining results from research.

It seems hard to imagine now, but back then, both approaches were well outside the mainstream of educational research practice and were neither widely used nor understood by most education researchers, let alone policymakers or teachers...