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Using a comparative judgement approach to assess the problem-solving skills of primary school pupils

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conference contribution
posted on 01.12.2020, 14:28 by Patrick Barmby, Ian JonesIan Jones, Colin FosterColin Foster, J Milinkovic
Comparative judgement has been put forward as a way of assessing more open responses to mathematical questions, for example in problem solving. This paper describes a small-scale study involving a comparative judgement assessment of the mathematical problem-solving skills of 17 pupils from one primary school in England, with judgments provided by 10 teachers from that school. The scale separation reliability was 0.87, showing a high degree of accuracy in differentiating between the quality of the responses. Examples of the responses showed a valid progression in the problem-solving skills shown. Questionnaire responses from the teacher judges support the potential of the process to inform teachers and pupils of the range of approaches that can be used in such a task. In addition, through the built-in moderation process, comparative judgement can provide formative support in aligning teachers’ views of problem solving.



  • Science


  • Mathematics Education Centre


29th Conference of the Southern African Association for Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (SAARMSTE)


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

Reproduced with permission of the publisher

Acceptance date





Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Event dates

12th January 2021 - 15th January 2021


Dr Ian Jones . Deposit date: 9 September 2020

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