Award in International Assessments – PIRLS and TIMSS

MQF Level: 7

ECTS Value: 1 ECTS

Duration: 2 Sessions

Contact Hours: 5

Self Study Hours: 12

Assessment Hours: 8


Course Description

This module aims to inform participants about how the information that PIRLS and TIMSS provide about international performances can drive up education standards. It also aims to provide comprehensive skills and competences to participants to consider recommendations and good practice from thorough reflection on the international assessment’s global analysis and consider recommendations for good practice.

Entry Requirements

Applicants interested in following this programme are to be in possession of one of the minimum eligibility criteria: 

1. A Bachelor of Education (MQF 6 with a minimum of 180 ECTS);

2. A Bachelor degree (MQF 6 with a minimum of 180 ECTS) in addition to a teaching qualification at MQF Level 6 or higher.  

Overall Objectives and Outcomes

By the end of this module, the learner will be able to:


a) Establish the different ways through which an educator can prepare and deliver the curriculum and the way that pupils are able to learn what is taught;
b) Create a supportive classroom environment that can facilitate learner engagement;
c) Create an optimal classroom environment by providing clear purpose and strong guidance for the classroom while encouraging cooperation among the learners and an environment of respect between learners as well as between learners and the teacher;
d) Create an environment that fosters a sense of relatedness, competence, and autonomy in order to facilitate motivation;
e) Ensure that learners are actively involved in their own learning process by utilising peer tutoring, small group work, and peer mentoring which are effective strategies that promote student engagement;
f) Make use of strategies for effective teaching such as linking new content to students’ prior knowledge and interests, collaborative learning strategies, teacher-student questioning interaction, and inquiry-based instruction;
g) Make effective use of the classroom library as this can foster positive reading habits and attitudes of the learners;
h) Establish goals so that learners understand the process of achievement, what outcome is expected, and why the goals are important for the learning process;
i) Create discussion-based approaches such as collaborative reading and questioning the author which can be effective in engaging and supporting learners in their reading development.


a) Identify the outcomes of international assessments: PIRLS and TIMMS;
b) Identify how learners can benefit from studying and developing strong skills in Mathematics and Science;
c) Describe how learners’ educational resources for learning at home, pre-primary education provided to children, early literacy, numeracy and science activities carried out in the home, and literacy, numeracy and science skills attained by learners before attending primary schools can affect achievement in these areas;
d) Define the importance of the parents’ educational expectations for their children that can enhance their attainment;
e) Discuss the purpose of reading;
f) Identify the diverse processes of comprehension.


a) Use effective methods of instruction to maintain learner engagement in the content, activating the students cognitively;
b) Plan Mathematics lessons which include small group learning, peer instruction, problem-based learning and technology-aided instruction;
c) Plan Science lessons which include hands-on activities, learner discussion of measurements and results from hands-on activities, and learners working with others on an activity or project as well as with increased frequency of reading textbooks and writing longer answers
about science;
d) Provide stimulating reading tasks around the learner’s interest and hands-on experiences which can fuel the learner’s interest in reading, increasing motivation and reading comprehension;
e) Demonstrate how the use of technology such as computers and tablets can enhance Literacy and the teaching of Mathematics and Science;
f) Apply informal assessments during instruction which help identify the needs of particular individuals, evaluate the pace of the presentation, and adapt the instruction.

Mode of Delivery

This module is delivered through face-to-face lectures, workshops and learning activities. Information related to the structure and delivery of the module may be accessed through the IfE Portal. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures found on the Institute for Education’s website.

Assessment Methods

This programme adopts continuous and summative methods of assessment including assignments, online tasks, reflective journals, projects and video presentations. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures.


Upon successful completion of this module, course participants will be conferred an accredited certification. 

Further Learning Opportunities and Career Progression

Upon successful completion of this module, course participants may use certification conferred to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning for accredited programmes. Teachers may also use this certification in their application for accelerated progression.

Suggested Readings

1. Black, P. (1993), “Formative and Summative Assessments by Teachers”, Studies in Science Education, Vol. 21, pp. 49-97.
2. Black, P.,& Wiliam, D. (1998). Assessment and classroom learning. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy, and Practice, 5, 7–74.
3. Bolon, C. (2000) ‘School-based Standard Testing. Education Policy Archives’. 8 (23) In D. Wiliam, (2009) Assessment for Learning: Why No Profile in US Policy, London: Sage.
4. Harlen, W. (2005) ‘Teachers’ summative practices and assessment for learning – tensions and synergies’. The Curriculum Journal, 16 (2), 207–23.
5. Harlen, W. and M. James (1997), “Assessment and Learning: Differences and Relationships between Formative and Summative Assessment”, Assessment in Education, Vol. 4, pp. 365- 379.
6. James, M. (2004) ‘Assessment of Learning, Assessment for Learning and Personalised Learning’. Paper Presented at Goldman Sachs UK/US Conference on Urban Education. London, December.
7. McTighe, J. and Ferrara, S. (1998). Assessing Learning in the Classroom. Washington, DC: National Education Association.
8. Shepard, L.A. and K. Cutts-Dougherty (1991), “Effects of High-stakes Testing on Instruction”, Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Educational Research Association.
9. Stiggins, R. J. (1998). Classroom Assessment for Student Success. Washington, DC: National Education Association.
10. Wiggins, G. (1989). A True Test: Toward More Authentic and Equitable Assessment. Phi Delta Kappan, May 1989, pp. 703-713.
11. Wiggins, G. (1998). Educative Assessment: Designing Assessments to Inform and Improve Student Practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
12. Wiliam, D. (1998) ‘The Validity of Teachers’ Assessments’. Paper presented at the 22nd annual conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Stellenbosch,
13. South Africa.
14. Williams, J. and J. Ryan (2000), “National Testing and the Improvement of Classroom Teaching: Can the Coexist?”, British Educational Research Journal, Vol. 26, pp. 49-73.

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