Trusted by Governments

Evaluation
& Research

AlphaPlus helps ensure the proper working of qualifications and assessments and assembles the evidence to demonstrate this. This evidence includes analytical work, often on large datasets; field work with centres, teachers and students; reporting and evidence-led action planning.

Our clients include governments, their agencies and awarding organisations, as well as professional bodies and research bodies. Our team has expertise in assessment, evaluation and statistics, fieldwork and evidence gathering – but we are also excellent communicators, speaking and writing clearly and accurately, and giving messages that are to the point and free of jargon.

We provide realistic evaluations of results (not theoretical, not perfectionist, not partisan), advising our clients where and why we think improvements are necessary, but equally giving sensible, calm judgements of where services are satisfactory, or as good as they can be.

Our services include:

  • Qualitative & quantitative mixed methods research
  • Randomised controlled trials
  • Psychometric analysis
  • Impact evaluation
  • Literature reviews
  • Support for policy & strategy makers
  • Surveys
  • Data Analysis

In 2018, we contracted with AlphaPlus to produce a research report and good practice guide on the features of effective mark schemes in knowledge-based qualifications. Sarah Maughan and her team worked with us in a positive and collaborative way to understand what was needed. They delivered the research report and good practice guide on time and they were responsive to all our feedback and requirements, whilst offering creative ideas and solutions. The quality of both documents was very high and feedback from awarding bodies on the usefulness of the good practice guide has been very positive.

Qualification Wales logo

– Qualification Wales

Psychometrics

Statistical analysis provides a critical part of validity evidence that underpins assessment design, development and delivery. This evidence relies on accurate and timely statistical data and on clear, unbiased and informed reporting. AlphaPlus’ broad experience and deep knowledge of assessment theory and practice means that we can not only undertake the analysis, but also provide written and verbal advice on what to do about it. Although we are experts, we are pragmatic and non-partisan – we focus on serving our assessment organisation clients with evidence-based interpretation and action-planning.

As well as being technically proficient in statistical programming, our team has broad expertise in the substantive theories of educational measurement. We are experts in item response theory (IRT) and including IRT’s application to adaptive testing. We have carried out analyses in the field of reliability and generalisability theory. We are adept standards setting practitioners; including the logistics necessary to conduct standards setting meeting and the various technical approaches to standards setting (e.g. Angoff, Hofstee, borderline regression method, Ebel method, etc.).

Candidate data often includes personal data and needs to be dealt with securely and in accordance with data processing protocols from the point of collection. AlphaPlus is trusted by national governments to obtain, manage and process national datasets to the highest standards.


Trialling & Calibration

Questions and Assessments can be calibrated by trialling them in advance with representative candidates groups. These groups can range from a few hundred to a few thousand candidates. This provides extensive data on item, assessment and candidate performance – item and assessment calibration is a critical step in ensuring the validity and reliability of assessmments and helps support balanced assessment design. Trialing presents risks due to exposure of live content however at AlphaPlus we provide a fully managed trials service to mitigate the risks in trialing live assessment content. Our services include:

190,000+
Number of learners
170,000+
Number of scripts marked
170+
Test Administrators
UK
National Coverage

AlphaPlus has securely delivered more than 30 major trials (and many smaller ones) with over 190,000 learners and more than 170 test administrators, and 15 residential marking operations with over 170,000 scripts marked by our skilled markers. We are on STA’s frameworks for question writing and test trialling/pre-testing for KS1 and KS2 national assessments in England, and our team also support the recruitment of participants for training and evaluation projects.

Our team are experienced at recruiting, supporting and sustaining participation of schools – initial contact, providing information, dealing with objections, explaining benefits, and giving the schools the confidence they will be properly supported. This includes large scale trials as above, as well as informal trials such as cognitive labs and other observational approaches. We have a large pool of test administrators (DBS-approved) to support in-school delivery. All this trialling work is undertaken with security throughout – most of the content we are trialling is required to be secure.

  • Creating and drawing representative samples of schools and candidates,
  • Recruiting and managing centres,
  • Delivering assessments and marking responses – as well as undertaking statistical analysis to complete the review of draft assessments.
For more information please get in touch

Photo of Fiona Myles-Hook
Fiona Myles-Hook
Sales & Marketing Manager
+44 (0) 161 249 9258

We have worked with AlphaPlus for around four years on a number of large standardised test development projects for primary and secondary schools. We have found the team to be incredibly consultative and able to go beyond the project remit to help us shape our products to be the best they can for our customers. As experts in their field they are able to help us on a strategic level but also right down the detail of the best way to set-up and run complex, large-scale projects.

We have continued to work with the team on these large projects as AlphaPlus deliver high quality materials that are fit for purpose. The team are always professional and supportive, and have been able to adapt to short-notice projects to help us deliver our business goals. We would definitely recommend others to work with AlphaPlus.

Rising Stars logo

– Rising Stars

Further Services