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Dr. Damian Murchan
Associate Professor, Education
Head of School of Education, School Office - Education

Biography

Professor Damian Murchan is Head of the School of Education at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, where he leads a School with extensive national and international engagement with teaching, research and policy. A former teacher and school principal, his teacher-education roles span primary and post-primary levels through involvement in initial and continuing professional education for teachers. Professor Murchan's research interests include educational reform, assessment methods, e-learning and assessment, incorporation of key skills into the curriculum, and teacher professional development. A member of the Research In School Education (RISE) group in the School of Education in Trinity, his current research focuses on regulatory and ethical implications of using data analytics in digital assessments and on the process of Junior Cycle reform. He is also is a Research Associate at the Centre for Assessment Research, Policy and Practice in Education (CARPE) at Dublin City University where he collaborated on a recent discussion paper for the NCCA on assessment in the re-developed primary school curriculum and also acted as a reviewer for the CARPE/INTO Standardised Testing Project. Professor Murchan is co-author of a recent book on educational assessment, Understanding and Applying Assessment in Education, and his research is widely disseminated through journals and conference presentations internationally. He has held a number of advisory roles in relation to the development of assessment policy and practice in Ireland and internationally. He co-chairs a consortium established by Trinity and the Educational Research Centre Drumcondra that will host the Annual Meeting of the Association for Educational Assessment - Europe in Dublin in November 2020.

He is available to supervise Doctoral students in the areas of Educational assessment and testing, Evaluation and Educational reform.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Lysaght, Z., Scully, D., Murchan, D., O'Leary, G., & Shiel, G. , Aligning assessment, learning and teaching in curricular reform and implementation, Dublin, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, 2019, p1 - 25 Report, 2019 TARA - Full Text

Murchan, D., Ware, M., Quinn, R., & McMaster, L., Life gets in the way: Resits for students unable to present for high-stakes exams, Annual Meeting of the Association for Educational Assessment - Europe, Lisbon, Portugal, 13-16 November 2019, 2019 Conference Paper, 2019

Murchan, D., & Siddiq, F , Ethical considerations involving data analytics in educational assessment: A systematic literature review., Educational Testing Service and Educational Research Centre Conference: Opportunity versus Challenge: Exploring usage of log-file and process data in international large scale assessments, Dublin, 16-17 May 2019, 2019 Conference Paper, 2019

Murchan, D., Introducing school-based assessment as part of junior-cycle reform in Ireland: A bridge too far?, Educational Assessment, Evaluation & Accountability, 30, (2), 2018, p97 - 131 Journal Article, 2018 URL

Murchan, D., & Siddiq, , Regulatory and ethical implications of using log file data, Annual Meeting of the Association for Educational Assessment - Europe, Arnhem-Nijmegen, Netherlands, 7 - 10 November 2018, 2018 Conference Paper, 2018

Damian Murchan, Review: Inside education: exploring the art of good learning., Review of Inside education: exploring the art of good learning., by Stephen O'Brien , British Journal of Educational Studies, 2017, p1-3 Review, 2017 DOI

Murchan, D. & Shiel, G., Understanding and applying assessment in education, London, SAGE Publications Ltd, 2017, 1 - 247pp Book, 2017

Murchan, D., & Oldham, E., Exploring the role of computer-based assessments in diagnosing students' mathematical errors in primary education in Ireland, Irish Educational Studies, 36, (4), 2017, p489 - 510 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

Kellough, J. & Murchan, D. , Combining the affordances of flipped CPD with a VLE to promote teachers' formative assessment practice, Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Antonio, Texas, 27 April-1 May 2017, 2017 Poster, 2017

Murchan D., Lombard, P., Oldham, E., & Johnston, K., Supplementary online tutoring as a response to high-stakes testing in mathematics, Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Antonio, Texas, 27 April-1 May 2017, 2017 Poster, 2017

Murchan, D, Return to sender: Policy borrowing and contestation in reforming assessment in lower secondary education., Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC, 8 - 12 April 2016, 2016, pp1 - 12 Conference Paper, 2016

Murchan, D., Bombs, buses and exams: A selected journey through education policy in Ireland since the 1916 rising., RTÉ Reflecting the Rising, Trinity College Dublin, 28 March 2016, 2016, RTE Radió Teilifis Éireann Invited Talk, 2016

Murchan, D., Tangney, B., Johnston, K. & Conneely, C., Lessons from using the Bridge21 model in the context of 21st century learning approaches., British Educational Research Association, Belfast, 15th-17th September, 2015 Conference Paper, 2015

Murchan, D., Reconciling educational standards and 21st century learning?, Policy Forum for Northern Ireland, Belfast, 2 December 2015, edited by Sean Cudmore , 2015, pp15 - 17 Conference Paper, 2015 TARA - Full Text

Johnston, K., Conneely, C., Murchan, D. & Tangney, B., Enacting key skills-based curricula in secondary education: Lessons from a technology-mediated, group-based learning initiative, Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 24, (4), 2015, p423 - 442 Journal Article, 2015 DOI

Changing curriculum and assessment mindsets in higher education in, editor(s)A. Loxley, A. Seery & J.Walsh , Higher Education in Ireland: Practices, Policies and Possibilitie, Basingstoke UK, Palgrave Macmillan , 2014, pp186 - 197, [Damian Murchan] Book Chapter, 2014

Heneghan, H. & Murchan, D., Embracing teachers' capacity to implement effective differentiated reading in Irish primary schools, Annual conference of the Educational Studies Association of Ireland, Athlone, 10-12 April, 2014 Conference Paper, 2014

Murchan, D., Opportunities, challenges and tensions associated with recalibrating teachers' role in public examinations., Annual meeting of the Association for Educational Assessment - Europe, Tallinn, Estonia, 6-8 November, 2014 Conference Paper, 2014

Conneely, C., Murchan, D., Tangney, B. & Johnston, K. , 21st Century Learning -Teachers' and Students' Experiences and Views of the Bridge21 Approach within Mainstream Education. , Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2013 , Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, New Orleans, USA, 25 - 29 March 2013, Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, 2013, pp5152 - 5132 Conference Paper, 2013

Murchan, D., Oldham, E. & O'Sullivan, C. , Applying CBA technology to traditional error analysis in elementary mathematics. Lessons from Maths Assist. , Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, April 2013, 2013 Conference Paper, 2013 TARA - Full Text

Murchan, D., Role of the teacher in the context of reformed views of and approaches to assessment at Junior Cycle., Second Level Subject Associations' Representative Group (SARG), Collins Barracks, Dublin , 23 November, 2013, Subject Associations' Representative Group (SARG) Invited Talk, 2013

Murchan, D., Shiel, G., Vula, E., Bajgora, A., & Balidemaj, V. , 'Vleresimi formativ', Pristina, Kosovo, USAID & Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, 2013, 1 - 65 Protocol or guideline, 2013

Conneely, C., Murchan, D., Tangney, B. & Johnston, K, 21 Century Learning -Teachers' and Students' Experiences and Views of the Bridge21 Approach within Mainstream Education, Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, March, AACE., 2013, pp5125 - 5132 Conference Paper, 2013

Murchan, D., Shiel, G., Mickovska, G , An education system in transition: assessment and examinations in the Republic of Macedonia, Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 19, (4), 2012, p487 - 502 Journal Article, 2012 DOI

Murchan, D., Johnston, K., From Brussels to Belmullet: Policy and situational factors influencing the introduction of interactive whiteboards into primary classrooms in Ireland , Educational Studies Association of Ireland 2012, Cork, 29-31 March 2012 , 2012 Conference Paper, 2012 TARA - Full Text

Johnston, K.; Conneely, C.; Murchan, D.; Tangney, B., Enacting Key Skills-based Curricula in Secondary Education: Lessons from a Technology-mediated, Group-based Learning Initiative , The European Conference on Educational Research 2012, Cadiz, 18-21 September 2012, 2012 Conference Paper, 2012 DOI TARA - Full Text

Murchan, D., The formative use of diagnostic assessments to support teaching and learning in mathematics, Collection of Papers: International Conference, Assessment for Learning in 21 Century, Assessment for Learning in the 21st Century, Ohrid, Macedonia, May 2011, edited by G. Mickovska, M. Ceslarov, K. Binceva, T. Mitrevska & K. Poposki , United States Agency for International Development (USAID), 2011, pp147 - 156 Conference Paper, 2011

Murchan, D. & Oldham, E., Exploring diagnostic error analysis methodologies in the context of e-assessment in primary-level mathematics, Annual meeting of the Association for Educational Assessment - Europe, Belfast, 10-12 November 2011, 2011 Conference Paper, 2011 TARA - Full Text

Murchan, D., An integrated testing-teaching approach to using diagnostic assessments to promote student learning in primary mathematics, Annual meeting of the Association for Educational Assessment Europe, Oslo, November 2010, 2010 Poster, 2010

Johnston, K., Murchan, D., & Loxley, A., Professional development for teachers and the implications for school leadership: Recent experience in Irish education, Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York, 2009 (March), 2009 Conference Paper, 2009

Murchan, D., Loxley, A., & Johnston, K. , Teacher Learning and Policy Intention: Selected Findings from an Evaluation of a Large-Scale Programme of Professional Development in the Republic of Ireland, European Journal of Teacher Education, 32, (4), 2009, p455 - 471 Journal Article, 2009

Stavrakaki, N. & Murchan, D. , Warning Signs: Personal and System-related Implications of Teacher-stress, Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, 13 - 17 April, 2009, 2009 Conference Paper, 2009

Murchan, D., Loxley, A. & Johnston, K. , Policy Drivers and Negotiated Decision-Making in a National Professional Development Initiative, Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, 13 - 17 April, 2009 Conference Paper, 2009 TARA - Full Text

Loxley, A., Johnston, K., Murchan, D., Fitzgerald, H & Quinn, M , The role of whole-school contexts in shaping the experiences and outcomes associated with professional development. , Journal of In-service Education, 33, (3), 2007, p264 - 285 Journal Article, 2007

Ann FitzGibbon, Elizabeth Oldham and Keith Johnston, An investigation of student-teachers' use of social networks and their perceptions of using technology for teaching and learning, Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, San Antonio, March 2007, edited by Roger Carlsen, Karen McFerrin, Jerry Price, Roberta Weber and Dee Anna Willis , Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education, 2007, pp788 - 795 Conference Paper, 2007

Murchan, D., Johnston, K., Loxley, A, & Fitzgerald, H., Aligning system, teacher and student needs: Towards a coherent framework for continuing professional development for teachers in the Republic of Ireland, European Conference on Educational Research, Ghent, Belgium, 2007 (September), 2007 Conference Paper, 2007

Johnston, K., Murchan, D., Loxley, A., Fitzgerald, H & Quinn, M , The role and impact of the regional curriculum support service in Irish primary education. , Irish Educational Studies, 26, (1), 2007, p219 - 238 Journal Article, 2007

Wall, E., Lyddy, D., Mac Fhlannachdha, P., Mac Ionmhainn, S., Murchan, D., Murtagh, E., O'Leary, M., & Shiel, G. (NCCA) , 'Assessment in the primary school curriculum. Guidelines for schools.', Dublin, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, 2007, 1 - 104 Protocol or guideline, 2007

Murchan, D., Johnston, A., Loxley, A., Quinn, M., & Fitzgerald, H. , Teachers' professional Development: Lessons from the Evaluation of the PCSP., InTouch, 81, 2006, p42 - 43 Journal Article, 2006

Murchan, D., Loxley, A, Johnston, K, Quinn, M. & Fitzgerald, H. , Evaluation of the Primary Curriculum Support Programme (PCSP) Final Report, Dublin, Education Department, University of Dublin, Trinity College, May, 2005, p1 - 235 Report, 2005

Murchan, D., Hollywood in the classroom: Developing oracy using video technology., Education Today, (Summer), 1994, p27 - 29 Journal Article, 1994

Conceptual and statistical problems in the study of school and classroom effects: An introduction to multilevel modelling techniques. in, editor(s)I. Westbury, C.A. Ethington, L.A. Sosniak and D. P. Baker , In search of more effective mathematics education, Norwood, New Jersey, Ablex Publishing Company, 1994, pp247 - 272, [Murchan, D. P. & Sloane, F. ] Book Chapter, 1994

Bogner, F., & Murchan, D., Lehrerinnen und Lehrer in Europa: Irland, Schulreport, 5-6, 1993, p19 - 20 Journal Article, 1993

Murchan, D. , The reliability and validity of essay-based examinations in secondary education, Irish Educational Studies, 12, 1993, p41 - 56 Journal Article, 1993

Martin, M. O., Hickey, B. L. & Murchan, D. , The second international assessment of educational progress: Mathematics and science findings in Ireland (Special Edition). , The Irish Journal of Education, 26, 1992, p3 - 146 Journal Article, 1992

Murchan, D. , Educational quality indicators: Summary of questionnaire responses, Evaluation Comment, 1989, p12 - 15 Journal Article, 1989

McCormick, A.N., Murchan, D., Jenkins, J.E., Hedlund, D.E., & Ripple, R.E. , Children of divorce resource guide: Information sources for children, parents and teachers (2nd Ed.). , Ithaca, NY, Cornell University, Rural Schools Program., 1989 Report, 1989

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Murchan, D., 'Reforming the Junior Certificate', Newstalk FM Radio, 27-03-2014, 2014, - Broadcast, 2014

Donnelly, K., 'Exam process designed for a different era, says professor. Interview with Damian Murchan', Dublin, Irish Independent Newspaper, 28-05-2014, 2014, 17 - 17 Broadcast, 2014

Murchan, D., 'Assessment at Junior Cycle', Newstalk FM Radio, 02-12-2014, 2014, - Broadcast, 2014

Murchan, D & members of RISE., Education in the 21st Century: Student perspective on Junior Cycle Reform, 21 May, 2014, Trinity College Dublin Meetings /Conferences Organised, 2014

Murchan, D. & members of RISE, Education in the 21st Century: Philosophy, aims and opportunities associated with Junior Cycle reform, 22 May, 2013, Trinity College Dublin Meetings /Conferences Organised, 2013

Murchan, D., 'RTE Primetime Interview Junior Cert Exam', RTE Television, 2013, - Broadcast, 2013

Murchan, D., Loxley, A., & Johnston, K., Promoting best practice in professional development for teachers, Trinity Today, 11, 2006, p30 - 30 Journal Article, 2006

Murchan, D. , Assessment and the primary school curriculum, 2002 Report, 2002

Murchan, D. & O'Reilly, B. , Assessment in the primary curriculum: Report of the Assessment Subcommittee to Council, 1996 Report, 1996

Research Expertise

Projects

  • Title
    • Assessment in the re-developed primary curriculum
  • Summary
    • In my role as Research Associate at the Centre for Assessment Research, Policy and Practice in Education (CARPE) at Dublin City University, I have collaborated on this project designed to inform policymakers' decisions about assessment as part of ongoing review of the national primary curriculum. This work resulted in a discussion paper (Lysaght, Scully, Murchan, O'Leary & Shiel, 2019) that aims to present for discussion a number of issues that can be used to frame the role of assessment in primary education, highlighting the importance of aligning assessment, learning and teaching in curricular reform and implementation.
  • Funding Agency
    • National Council for Curriculum and Assessment
  • Date From
    • 2019
  • Date To
    • 2019
  • Title
    • Exploring the process of Junior Cycle Reform
  • Summary
    • With colleagues in the Research in School Education group in the School of Education I have investigated issues surrounding efforts to reform Junior Cycle (lower secondary) curricula in Ireland. This included two conferences (2013, 2014) that brought together a range of stakeholders, including students, associated with this reform. Outputs include three conference presentations, a 2018 paper in the journal Educational Assessment Evaluation and Accountability and a forthcoming Co-edited book.
  • Funding Agency
    • Trinity College Dublin
  • Date From
    • 2013
  • Date To
    • Present
  • Title
    • Virtual Schooling in Upper Secondary Mathematics - Evaluation of Clevermaths Pilot Study.
  • Summary
    • This project explored implementation of an online e-learning and computer-based assessment solution designed to provide support for students of mathematics in the Senior Cycle in Ireland. In partnership with Apierian e-learning Limited, I headed a research team within TCD exploring the efficacy of a virtual education programme designed to cater to students in upper secondary school in Ireland. The funded programme involved a combination of e-learning and online tutorials and the research aimed to ascertain participant experiences and views along with impacts of the programme on students
  • Funding Agency
    • Apierian e-Learning
  • Date From
    • 2013
  • Date To
    • 2013
  • Title
    • Promoting Key Skills in Junior Cycle Classrooms through Bridge 21
  • Summary
    • I collaborated with colleagues in the TCD Centre for Research in IT in Education (CRITE) on the Bridge 21 project. My work focused on evaluating the success of the initiative in enabling teachers and post-primary students to develop 21st Century key skills in classrooms, a priority educational target of government. The project found encouraging evidence of success using teamwork, technology and action research as mediating pedagogical tools. A number of conference presentations, reports and peer-reviewed publications have emerged from this research.
  • Funding Agency
    • Google; SUAS Educational Development; National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.
  • Date From
    • 2010
  • Date To
    • 2014
  • Title
    • Strengthen the Assessment of Learning Outcomes in the Republic of Kosovo
  • Summary
    • The Republic of Kosovo has undertaken restructuring of various aspects of its primary and secondary Education system. Developing a nationally-agreed set of school-based assessment standards and enhancing teachers' capacity in relation to the standards are key priorities. I provided technical advice and on-site training and support to national policymakers, NGOs and Principals and Teachers in schools involved in a pilot process. Through a process of policy development and practitioner action research, the process was designed to facilitate the enactment of statutory assessment standards, with corresponding evidence-based teacher professional development in assessment suited to the local context.
  • Funding Agency
    • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Date From
    • 2011
  • Date To
    • 2011
  • Title
    • Maths Assist: Diagnostic Assessment Intervention Programme
  • Summary
    • This project developed a diagnostic assessment intervention package relevant to children's progress in primary school. The package aims to improve classroom learning by supporting the teacher in the diagnosis of individual learning strengths and weaknesses and providing tailor-made materials for the teacher and pupils. Elements of the programme include paper-based and digital assessment techniques.
  • Funding Agency
    • Folens Publishers
  • Date From
    • 2008
  • Date To
    • 2012
  • Title
    • Developing assessment capacity in the education system of the Republic of Macedonia
  • Summary
    • This project involved the provision of support to state and non-governmental agencies in the Republic of Macedonia in relation to curricular and assessment reform in primary and lower-secondary school. Dr. Murchan helped provided on-site workshops and support to a variety of agencies and providers associated with the delivery and monitoring of education services in that country. This involved direct engagement with representatives of curriculum developers, Ministry of Education Inspectorate; Macedonian Civic Education Centre; Universities and Colleges engaged in teacher education; Foundation Open Society Institute Macedonia; School Principals and Teachers. This work has increased participants' capacity to initiate and lead reform efforts, including teacher professional development, and has also directly resulted in the creation of key policy documents to guide assessment practice in Macedonia.
  • Funding Agency
    • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Date From
    • 2007
  • Date To
    • 2008
  • Title
    • Capacity-building in curriculum design and development for upper secondary education in the Republic of Albania
  • Summary
    • This project centred on the design and evaluation of continuing professional development for key officials based in the Institute of Curricula and Training, Ministry of Education, Republic of Albania. The project supported the design and development of a reformed Upper Secondary curriculum in Albania.
  • Funding Agency
    • International Development Association and European Investment Bank
  • Date From
    • 2008
  • Date To
    • 2008
  • Title
    • Evaluation of the Primary Curriculum Support Programme
  • Summary
    • This project was commissioned and funded by the Department of Education and Science (DES) and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), Dublin. It involved an independent, external evaluation of the PCSP, an agency that had at the time received 25 million euro to provide professional development to all 26,000 primary teachers in The Republic of Ireland. The aim of the PCSP was to facilitate teachers in implementing a revised primary curriculum. The evaluation examined the impact of the professional development and a Final Report was presented to the sponsors in May 2005. This report is available electronically at: www.tcd.ie/education/research/projects.Php
  • Funding Agency
    • Department of Education and Science (DES) and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NC
  • Date From
    • 2003
  • Date To
    • 2005

Keywords

Assessment of student learning; Curriculum reform in primary and post-primary education; Educational Evaluation/Assessment; Educational Reform; Educational Testing/Measurement; Elementary/Secondary Education; International surveys of student achievement; Junior and Leaving Certificate Examinations

Recognition

Representations

Manuscript reviewer for journals: Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice; Irish Educational Studies; International Journal of Research and Method in Education. 2012 -

Member, Governing Body & Academic Council, Marino Institute of Education 2013 - 2016

Roles as Chairperson/member of Boards of Management in a number of primary schools. 1994 - Present

Assessment Advisor to Kosovo Education Centre on implementation of the Kosovo Basic Education Programme: Strengthening school-based formative assessment systems. 2011

Assessment Advisor to Macedonian Civic Education Centre, Macedonia, the agency contracted by Macedonian Education authorities to reform student assessment in primary and lower secondary education. 2007 - 2008

Member, Primary Assessment Sub-committee, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. during the development of the revised Primary School Curriculum. 1995 - 1997

Awards and Honours

Fellow, Association for Educational Assessment - Europe November 2019

Invited public lecture as part of RTE's centenary commemoration, Reflecting the Rising, Dublin: March 2016

Invited speaker at Policy Forum for Northern Ireland, Belfast: December 2015.

Association for Educational Assessment - Europe: Conference poster - Highly Commended for Murchan, D. An integrated testing-teaching approach to using diagnostic assessments to promote student learning in primary mathematics 2010

Memberships

Association for Educational Assessment - Europe

Educational Studies Association of Ireland

American Educational Research Association

National Council on Measurement in Education

Irish Federation of University Teachers

Research Associate, Centre for Assessment, Research Policy and Practice in Education (CARPE), Institute of Education, Dublin City University. 2019 – Present