IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Alex: 2023 Centre for Doctoral Education Student Poster Conference transcript

In March 2023, postgraduate students shared their doctoral research to colleagues and academics.

A photo of Alex in front of his research poster. Image credit: IOE Social Media.
Alex: Hi, my name's Alexander Black and I'm a second year EdD researcher at the IOE. My thesis is about the effects of assessments on language acquisition, on student attainment, teaching and learning and language ideologies.

So prior to starting at the IOE, I was working as a university lecturer, a language teacher in southern Mexico, and I was aware that the exams that were being used in that part of the world were having a very significant impact on students and teachers, and perhaps even on broader society.

I was interested in exploring that little further. So, that's how I ended up beginning my research on this theme. I was able to enter the EdD programme through a postgraduate diploma pathway programme, which was a lot more accessible to me. 

I had been teaching at a university for a number of years, but I had not attended lectures as a student. I was working full time. It was a much more flexible option for a mature student like myself. The IOE obviously has a fantastic reputation, and so I think my favourite thing about the IOE is the ethos. I think it's an institution where they really practise what they preach, so each of the assessments is accompanied by a lot of very generous support and feedback from tutors. 

Every time you write an essay, you're able to take a first draft to them. They give you extensive feedback, tutorials and support towards producing something that's of real worth and even encouraged to then consider publishing those essays which we produce. One of my supervisors has just submitted one of my chapters, one of my essays, as a book chapter and it's due to be published later this year, which is such a wonderful thing.

So I'm only in my second year at the moment. I will be leaving for a second cycle of research in the next couple of months, probably at the end of April, which I'm really excited about, I'm going to be working at a university that I think has a really progressive approach to some of the issues that I'm exploring and I have some tentative hopes for perhaps being able to work with or for that institution in the future.