Assessing investigative skills in history : a case study from Scotland

Hillis, Peter (2005) Assessing investigative skills in history : a case study from Scotland. History Teacher, 38 (3). pp. 341-360. ISSN 0018-2745 (

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Recent changes in our history syllabi stress the importance of developing an investigative/enquiry method of learning involving the framing of questions, subsequent research and the presentation of findings. Scotland has made several attempts to assess not only the end result (the paper) but also the process itself and now uses an extended essay format in two important history courses that come at the end of secondary schooling. This article discusses how we experimented before we decided on these various approaches to assessing investigative skills and evaluates the extended essay solution with particular reference to the comments of students and teachers. This analysis expands a previous article on the assessment of investigative skills which appeared in this journal.