Encouraging professional learning communities to increase the shared consensus in writing assessments: The added value of comparative judgement

Roos Van Gasse*, Marije Lesterhuis, San Verhavert, Renske Bouwer, Jan Vanhoof, Peter Van Petegem, Sven De Maeyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: The Flemish Examination Centre designed an intervention to establish a professional learning community on the topic of writing assessment. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of this intervention and explain how this intervention succeeded in establishing a professional learning community. Design/methodology/approach: A mixed method design was used to answer the research questions. Quantitative analysis of comparative judgement data provided insight into the effects of the intervention. More specifically was analysed whether examiners judged more in line after the intervention. Qualitative analysis of the conversations within the intervention served to examine how interdependent examiners behaved in the professionalisation exercises and to gain insight into how a professional learning community was established. Findings: The analysis showed that the intervention of the Flemish Examination Centre facilitated the formation of a professional learning community. This was visible in the quantitative analysis. The qualitative analysis showed that highly interdependent activities were helpful in establishing the professional learning community. Practical implications: This study shows that interactions of high interdependence are beneficial to facilitate professional learning communities. Originality/value: This study shows that the assessment data can guide a well-thought out design of interventions to establish professional learning communities among assessors. Assessment data can be a guidance for supportive group constellations and discussions to improve assessment practices. The key in this regard lies in the level of interdependence that is created among participants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-285
Number of pages17
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Comparative judgement
  • Professional learning community
  • Shared consensus
  • Writing assessment

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