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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice

For a Special Issue on
High Stakes Assessment in the Era of COVID-19: Interruption, Transformation or Regression?

Manuscript deadline
30 November 2021

Cover image - Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice

Special Issue Editor(s)

Louise Hayward, University of Glasgow
[email protected]

Michael O'Leary, Dublin City University
[email protected]

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High Stakes Assessment in the Era of COVID-19: Interruption, Transformation or Regression?

There is no doubt that COVID has created an interruption to high stakes assessment in many countries internationally.  The potential for assessment transformation is there.  However, there are competing discourses of what the future might look like: some are transformational exploring opportunities to align high stakes systems more clearly with curricular visions. Such new conceptualisations offer opportunities to broaden the assessment base, to create more authentic learning opportunities, to see assessment as progression to the future rather than to summarise the past.  Others take a more dystopian view where technology, seen as a means to reduce the risk to qualifications emerging from COVID, will drive rather than support change and the role of the professional will be diminished in the post COVID environment.  Yet others believe that little will change and the desire for stability will lead to systems desperately seeking the security of the past.

This Special Edition seeks to contribute to the debate about what we have learned from the COVID experience and how that learning might inform the future of high stakes assessment both for individual nations and internationally.

The Editors invite both empirical and conceptual papers that address topics pertaining to any one, or any combination of the following:

  • equity, fairness, and social justice
  • the student or teacher experience, including mental health and wellbeing
  • the use of teacher judgements, including the use of low stakes assessments for high stakes purposes
  • approaches used to calculate grades in schools
  • approaches used for standardising teacher judgements, including the use of school historical data
  • the impact of grade inflation on the transition process to further and higher education
  • the relationship between opportunity to learn in a pandemic and performance in high stakes exams
  • the use of alternatives to traditional exams for high stakes contexts
  • societal response to the cancellation of traditional assessments
  • the impact of COVID on future assessment thinking

This list should not be considered exhaustive and additional suggestions for paper topics related to the major theme will be considered.

Submission Instructions

If you are interested in contributing to this call, please send a maximum 300-word abstract (excluding references) by 26th February 2021 to

Louise Hayward (University of Glasgow) and Michael O’Leary (DCU)

[email protected]                       [email protected]

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