Consultants X2 : Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Job Summary

The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), within the IED Division is looking for TWO (2) experienced consultants (one for science and another for mathematics) to analyse the data relating to learner performance.. Please see below for details.

Duties and Responsibilities

The HSRC is looking to appoint TWO service providers/ consultants (one for science and another for mathematics) to analyse the data relating to learner performance. Consultants are expected to analyse each item and diagnose difficulties that learners may have encountered in understanding a particular concept and then recommend teaching and learning strategies to remediate the problem. Based on the CAPS documents, the service provider should also be able to identify the recommended grade that items are introduced at in South Africa.

In other words, the key research questions that will be answered are:
1.How did the learners perform on each item?
2.Which part of the South African curriculum does each item fit into?
3.What cognitive processes are required to correctly answer each numeracy question?
4.What types of errors have learners made in answering math/ science questions?
5.What action is recommended to remediate the problems identified?

The successful applicants will be given access:
1.The set of TIMSS 2019 released ‘restricted use’ items.
2.Each item will be categorised in terms of its content and cognitive domain.
3.Basic Item level statistics will be provided for each item: For Multiple Choice Items frequency of learner responses will be provided for each of the four options. For constructed response items, we will provide information on frequency correct, frequency incorrect response and frequency of omissions.
4.The scoring guide for the ‘restricted use items only’ produced by the IEA and used during the scoring process.

Drawing from theory or empirical studies (e.g. reviewing learner responses to the items), the task is then to write a short, succinct analyses of the learning problem and recommendations that educators can implement in their classroom to remediate the problem. The analysis should provide a clear indication of the weaknesses in learner responses and illustrate possible knowledge “gaps” and common misunderstandings that need to be addressed. Uncovering misconceptions or error patterns in the learner responses can directly inform instructional practice.

The audience for the Item Diagnostic Report will be mathematics and science educators.

Submission for consideration
We are inviting researchers/ consultants to submit a 5-page proposal, which clearly describes how they will analyse the learner item performance data to produce a user-friendly item diagnostic report.

In addition to the proposal submitted, consultants need to submit a budget required to conduct this analysis.
You need to submit a full CV with at least two examples of similar work produced.

The proposal will be peer-reviewed and the HSRC will enter into a contract with researchers/ organisations with successful proposals.

The Item Diagnostic Reports will be peer reviewed by the DBE and reviewers appointed by the HSRC.

Qualifications and Experience

Key requirements for applicants
•Experienced researchers/academics as evidenced by conducting mathematics or science item diagnostic analyses.
•A clear understanding of the South African Basic Education Curriculum Framework such as the CAPS is important.
•A Masters qualification in an education or social science related field. Speciality in educational assessment (especially mathematics or science assessment) is a bonus.

• The duration for the production of the Item Diagnostic Report is 6 months

How to Apply


In your application please include a letter of motivation, your CV, names of two contactable referees, plus copies of two working papers/ journal articles. In your application please send a five page proposal outlining your research plan.

The HSRC will only consider applications that include the above requirements.

Please submit your application to Ms Mamello Theledi at [email protected]

About Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) Jobs, Vacancies, Internships, Bursaries, Learnerships The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory resea...

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