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Dr Christopher Ricketts

Peninsula Medical School (NC) (Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry (NC))


I took early retirement in July 2010 but have an honorary contract until the end of 2013.

I worked part-time for the Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry as Director of Assessment and as Senior Lecturer in Statistics.


National Teaching Fellow 2008 - details at

In 1986 I joined the then Plymouth Polytechnic (now the University) as a Senior Lecturer in Statistics. I have led the university-wide development of Computer Aided Assessment, which is now used across all Faculties, but especially in our statistics teaching. I share my time with the Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry as Director of Assessment.  I have recently led the university's reviews of its e-learning strategy and of assessment.  I was Sub-Dean (Teaching Enhancement) for the Faculty of Technology until September 2008.

I graduated with a degree in Mathematics from the University of Exeter in 1972.

I then spent 7 years working at the University Hospital of Wales / Welsh National School of Medicine and got my PhD in 1977 for work on the mathematical and statistical modelling of human iron metabolism and its disorders.

I joined British Antarctic Survey in 1979 where I worked on statistical modelling of marine resources, and the ecology of birds and marine mammals, which involved me in two field trips to the Antarctic.

Selected publications

A new look at resits: are they simply a second chance? C Ricketts. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 2010, 35: 351 – 356.

Difficult decisions for progress testing: How much and how often? C Ricketts, A Freeman, G Pagliuca, L Coombes, J Archer. Medical Teacher 2010, 32: 513-515.

Adaptation of medical progress testing to a dental setting. J Bennett, A Freeman, L Coombes, E Kay, C Ricketts. Medical Teacher 2010, 32: 500-502.

Beyond assessment: Feedback for individuals and institutions based on the progress test. L Coombes, C Ricketts, A Freeman, J Stratford. Medical Teacher 2010, 32: 486-490.
Can we share questions? Performance of questions from different question banks in a single medical school. A Freeman, A Nicholls, C Ricketts, L Coombes. Medical Teacher 2010, 32: 464-466.
Progress Testing Internationally.  A Freeman, C van der Vleuten, Z Nouns, C Ricketts.  Medical Teacher  2010, 32: 451-455.

Are multiple choice tests fair to medical students with specific learning disabilities?   C Ricketts, J Brice, L Coombes.  Advances in Health Sciences Education, 2010 15:265–275.   DOI 10.1007/s10459-009-9197-8

A plea for the proper use of criterion-referenced tests in medical assessment.  C Ricketts.  Medical Education 2009: 43: 1141–1146.

Evaluating computer-based assessment in a risk-based model. S Zakrzewski, C Steven & C Ricketts.  Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 2009;34: 439-454.

Standard setting for progress tests: combining external and internal standards.  C Ricketts, A C Freeman & L R Coombes.  Medical Education 2009;43:589-593.

Are national qualifying examinations a fair way to rank medical students? Yes. C Ricketts & J Archer.  BMJ 2008;337:a1282.

‘I’m picking up good regressions: the governance of generalisability analyses.  J. Crossley, J. Russell, B. Jolly, C. Ricketts, C. Roberts, L.Schuwirth & J. Norcini.  Medical Education, 2007, 41, 926-934.