Huiming Ding

Huiming Ding


The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) launched by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has attracted worldwide attention over the recent decade. PISA “effect”, as widely documented, has penetrated various aspects of education in a range of participating economies which initiated education reforms as responses to it. The more influential PISA is, the more inevitably students’ learning would be affected. However, so far, research on the impact of PISA on students’ learning is rarely seen. To discuss PISA’s impact in practice and promote appropriate use of this assessment tool, it is necessary to empirically investigate its impact on students’ learning.

Employing mixed methods, my research aims to ascertain what influence PISA has brought to Chinese students’ learning in a local area in China, and try to portray the pattern of such influence in this context, so as to provide insights into better using PISA data in practice for better facilitating students’ learning.


I obtained my master’s degree in “Linguistics and Applied Linguistics (Language Testing)” from Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU). During the time I studied in the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) Centre in BLCU, I got an internship in the Department of Standard and Instrument in National Assessment Centre of Education Quality, and continued to work there after graduation. In 2013, I became a project member of China PISA 2015, mainly engaging in sampling, data management and data analysis. I worked in the China PISA 2015 National Centre until I came to Leeds.

My PhD course started in October 2016.

What motivated me to undertake PhD study?

I am always interested in educational assessment, especially in how to design and develop assessment, as well as how to use the assessment data to address practical issues such as improving assessment or facilitating learning. To study the issues that I am curious about, I intensely feel that I need to enhance my research ability. Undertaking a PhD could allow me to access systematical academic training and is necessary for me to be a real researcher and do better in the field of educational assessment in the future.

What makes me passionate about my subject?

Educational assessment is an area integrating quantitative and qualitative theories and methods. When developing an assessment instrument, experts reflect on the epistemology of their knowledge about various aspects such as subjects, students, teachers, schools and contexts. Interdisciplinary ideas also stimulate and inspire each other during this process. Analysing the data of an assessment is just like a journey of exploration and discovery, poking the fog and approaching the fact. Educational assessment could provide a great deal of valuable evidence-based information to education. With proper use, it could significantly improve students’ learning. Indulging in the work and research on education assessment is interesting, exciting and meaningful.

What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?

I have recently completed my PhD. Currently I am looking for an academic/research post in which I could apply my expertise in education assessment, quantitative/mixed-methods research to exploring issues in education and wider field, and to informing policies and practices.