Darina Scully


Contact Details

Assistant Professor in Psychology
Moville 210
Institute of Education
Dublin City University, St. Patrick's Campus
Drumcondra, Dublin 9
T:+353 1 7009246

Profile Photo

Dr. Darina Scully is an Assistant Professor in Psychology in the School of Human Development.  She holds a B.A. (Mod.) and a Ph.D in psychology from Trinity College, Dublin.  

Darina has extensive research experience, most notably in the areas of child/adolescent development and educational assessment, and with particular expertise in quantitative methods and statistical analysis.  Upon completion of her Ph.D., she joined the Educational Research Centre as a Research Assistant, where she was involved in a number of  high profile national and international research projects, including TIMSS (Trends in International Maths and Science Study), and the evaluation of the School Support Programme under DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools).   

In 2016, she took up the inaugural Prometric postdoctoral position in the newly established Centre for Assessment Research, Policy & Practice in Education (CARPE).  In this role, her work was heavily focused on various issues in assessment and test development in educational and workplace settings. In 2020, upon completion of her postdoc, she joined the School of Human Development as a full-time academic staff member. In this role, she has continued to conduct and supervise research in the areas of educational assessment, digital learning, SPHE and wellbeing education, and has taught on a wide range of modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate level across various programmes within the IoE.  

Darina has been published in several peer-reviewed journals including Personality and Individual Differences, Technology, Pedagogy and Education, and the International Journal of Testing and she has presented at prestigious international conferences such as AERA and EdMedia.  Her work has also been used by the NCCA, the INTO and QQI to inform policy and practice in educational assessment.

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2022 Khoshfetrat, A.; Scully, D.; Fassbender, C. (2022) 'Effects of behavioral inhibition/activation systems on anger rumination and anger expression through Difficulty in Emotion Regulation'. PERSONALITY AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES, 191 . [Link] [DOI]
2022 Lehane, P.; Scully, D.; O'Leary, M. (2022) '‘Time to figure out what to do’: understanding the nature of Irish post-primary students’ interactions with computer-based exams (CBEs) that use multimedia stimuli'. Irish Educational Studies, 41 . [Link] [DOI]
2021 Karakolidis, A., Scully, D., O'Leary, M. (2021) 'Eight issues to consider when developing animated videos for the assessment of complex constructs'. Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation, 26 . [Link]
2021 Karakolidis, A.; O’Leary, M.; Scully, D. (2021) 'Animated videos in assessment: comparing validity evidence from and test-takers’ reactions to an animated and a text-based situational judgment test'. International Journal of Testing, 21 . [Link] [DOI]
2021 Karakolidis, A., O'Leary M., Scully, D. (2021) 'Animated Videos in Assessment: Comparing Validity Evidence from and Test-Takers' Reactions to an Animated and a Text-Based Situational Judgement Test'. International Journal of Testing, . https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15305058.2021.1916505?src=
2021 Scully, D., Lehane, P., Scully, C. (2021) 'It is no longer scary: digital learning before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Irish secondary schools'. Technology, Pedagogy And Education, . [DOI]
2020 Scully D.; Pitsia V.; Karakolidis A. (2020) 'Exploring the interpersonal dimension of teaching in an Irish post-primary context'. Irish Educational Studies, . [DOI]
2018 O' Leary, M; Scully, D; Karakolidis, A; Pitsia, V (2018) 'The state-of-the-art in digital technology-based assessment'. European Journal of Education, 53 :160-175. [DOI]
2017 Lysaght, Z., O'Leary, M., Scully, D. (2017) 'Irish Pre-Service Teachers' Expectations for Teaching as a Career'. Irish Journal of Education, 42 :88-107. [Link]
2017 Scully D. (2017) 'Constructing multiple-choice items to measure higher-order thinking'. Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation, 22 (4):1-13.
2015 Susan Weir, Darina Errity, Laura McAvinue (2015) 'Factors Associated with Educational Disadvantage in Rural and Urban Areas'. Irish Journal of Education, 40 :94-110. [Link]
2014 McMahon, A. & Errity,D (2014) 'From new vistas to lifelines: Psychologists' satisfaction with supervision and confidence in supervising'. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 21 :264-275. [DOI]

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2022 Looney, A., O'Leary, M., Scully, D. & Shiel, G. (2022) 'Cross-National Achievement Surveys and Educational Monitoring in Ireland' In: Cross-National Achievement Surveys for Monitoring Educational Outcomes. Luxembourg : Publications Office of the European Union. https://data.europa.eu/doi/10.2760/406165

Other Journal

Year Publication
2018 Scully, D., O'Leary, M. & Brown, M. (2018) 'The learning portfolio in higher education: A game of snakes and ladders (Junhong Xiao trans.)' . [DOI]
2017 Anastasios Karakolidis, Michael O'Leary, Darina Scully (2017) 'Practice Tests: Do they work? Can they work better?' 26 (3) .

Conference Publication

Year Publication
2018 Stemler, S., Elliott, J., O'Leary, M., Scully, D., Karakolidis, A. & Pitsia, V. (2018) American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting A Cross-Cultural Study of High School Teachers' Tacit Knowledge of Interpersonal Skills [Link] [DOI]
2018 Scully, D., O'Leary M., Brown, M. (2018) EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology The Learning Portfolio in Higher Education: An Integrative Review Amsterdam, Netherlands, [Link]

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2020 O'Leary, M., Lysaght, Z., NicCraith, D. & Scully D. (2020) American Educational Research Association (AERA) Teacher Perspectives on Standardised Testing of Achievement in Ireland San Francisco, .
2019 Scully, D. & Lehane, P. (2019) European Association of Test Publishers (E-ATP) Considering emotional intelligence in certification and licensure testing Madrid, Spain, 10/01/2020-.
2019 Karakolidis, A., O'Leary, M., & Scully, D. (2019) 20th annual Association for Educational Assessment – Europe (AEA) Enhancing assessment validity through the use of animated videos: An experimental study comparing text-based and animated situational judgements tests Lisbon, .
2019 Scully, D., O'Leary, M. & Lehane, P. (2019) Association of Test Publishers (ATP) Conference Considering emotional intelligence in certification and licensure testing Madrid, .
2019 Scully, D., & Kuan, L. (2019) Middle East and Africa Association of Test Publishers Providing useful and effective diagnostic feedback Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, .
2018 Scully, D., & Lysaght Z. (2018) European Association of Test Publishers Diagnostic Feedback - Dos and Don'ts Athens, Greece, .
2018 Scully, D., O'Leary, M. & Brown, M. (2018) World Education Research Association World Congress Key Findings from a Literature Review on the use of Learning Portfolios (ePortfolios) in Higher Education Cape Town, South Africa, .
2018 Scully, D., & Ridgley, K. (2018) Association of Test Publishers Competencies: what are they and how best do we define them to measure them San Antonio, TX, .
2018 Scully, D. & Kuan L. (2018) European Association of Test Publishers Identifying the Task Analysis of Best Fit Athens, Greece, .
2017 Darina Scully, Linda Waters (2017) Association of Test Publishers Driving Program Decisions Through Research: Applying Best Practices Scottsdale, AZ, .
2017 O'Leary, M., Scully, D., Karakolidis, A. (2017) European Association of Test Publishers Refining Situational Judgement Tests Noordwijk, The Netherlands, .
2017 O'Leary, M., Scully, D. & Karakolidis, A. (2017) European Association of Test Publishers Challenging a Tenet of Multiple Choice Testing: Are Four Options Really Necessary? Noordwijk, The Netherlands, .
2015 Errity, D. & Wilson C. (2015) Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Annual Meeting Father-child interactions and the development of anxiety in middle childhood: a short-term longitudinal study Philadelphia, PA, .
2014 Errity, D., & Wilson, C. (2014) British Psychological society - Division of Clinical Psychology Annual Conference Paternal anxiety, child anxiety and father-child interactions: a longitudinal, multi-method investigation Peterborough, U.K, .

Published Report

Year Publication
2019 Lysaght Z, Scully, D., Murchan, D., O'Leary, M. & Shiel, G. (2019) Aligning assessment, learning and teaching in curricular reform and implementation. NCCA, . [Link]
2019 O' Leary M., Lysaght, Z., NicCraith, D. & Scully D. (2019) Standardised Testing in English Reading and Mathematics in the Irish Primary School. Irish National Teachers' Organisation, . [Link]
2018 O'Leary M. & Scully, D. (2018) The Leaving Certificate Programme as Preparation for Higher Education: The Views of Undergraduates at the End of their First Year in University. Centre for Assessment Research, Policy & Practice in Education, .
2018 Scully, D., O'Leary, M., Brown, M. (2018) The Learning Portfolio in Higher Education: A Game of Snakes and Ladders. Dublin City University, . [Link]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2023) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.


Committee Function From / To
Mount Anville Sacred Heart Education Trust The MASHED Trust holds the trusteeship of Mount Anville Secondary School and Mount Anville Montessori Junior School. The main responsibility of the Trustees is to ensure that the ethos and educational philosophy of the Society of the Sacred Heart are transmitted to future generations in the school community. -

Outreach Activities

Year Engagement Type Organisation Description
2020 Advisory Work A Lust for Life Schools Programme The A Lust for Life Schools Programme is a wellbeing education programme that aims to build resilience and enhance emotional literacy in primary school children. As a member of the Steering Committee, I provide advice and feedback to the programme developers on content, pedagogy and future directions. I also design and supervise evaluations of the programme’s effectiveness on an ongoing basis.

Research Interests

Child Development
Social, Personal and Health Education 
Educational and Workplace Assessment
ICT in Education  
Teaching and Teacher Education


Internal Collaborators

Type Name Company Role
Internal Michael O'Leary Dublin City University Academic
Internal Zita Lysaght Dublin City University Academic
Internal Anastasios Karakolidis Dublin City University Academic
Internal Vasiliki Pitsia Dublin City University Academic
Internal Mark Brown Dublin City University Academic

External Collaborators

Type Name Company Role
External Steven Stemler Wesleyan University Academic
External Kenneth Ridgley Prometric Inc. Industry
External Steve Williams Prometric Inc. Industry
External Linda Waters Prometric Inc. Industry

Modules Coordinated

Term Title Subject
Semester 2 / 2023 Psychology II: Psychology of Adolescence HD212
Semester 2 / 2023 Psychology of Adolescence HD2120
Semester 2 / 2023 Quantitative Research Methods ED8005