Assessment – where the rubber hits the road

Welcome Block 4.  Nice to have made it here….

Earlier on this week I sat in on some facilitated discussions around e-assessment.  We were asked to think about what assessment would look like in 10 years time: a range of answers were proffered: paperless, negotiated, personal, situated, peer.

As a governor of a special needs school I’ve tried my best in recent years to keep track of iterations of  the always-new “Ofsted Framework”.  It was therefore interesting to go back in time and read Assessment For Learning (ARG, 1999) – clearly an influential piece of work.  From what I see of our school –  pupil progress is tracked, challenging targets are set, assessment is ongoing and documented, pupils know what their targets are and learning is individualised.  Individual and group attainment and achievement are  addressed in the school development plan and cascaded through performance management structures.  It’s embedded….

Whitelock (2010),  speaking of Learning 2.0 at university level,  says “since learning is no longer seen as an individual endeavour, there is also a role for the learning community to have some say in the assessment process and so it follows that both peer, self and tutor assessment should be visible within this paradigm.” and points to Eliot’s 10 characteristics of assessment 2.0:

authentic, negotiated, personalised, engaging, recognise existing skills, deep, problem oriented, collaboratively produced, peer and self assessed,  tool supported.

In her conclusion she points out that times are changing. Assessment needs to be embedded in the teaching/learning cycle and not just a checking device for the awarding institution.

Look forward to thinking this through a bit more….

  • REAP has blazed a trail, but….
  • The National Student Survey (NSS) tells us that students still don’t perceive that universities give them feedback eg:


  • But….lots of feedback is given both formal, and informal.
  • Sometimes students don’t collect or register feedback (especially when their scores match their perceptions of what they should have received)
  • So there’s a bit of mismatch?

All very interesting…. and  joins up nicely with Viewpoints for curriculum design.  ……

Assessment Reform Group (ARG) (1999) Assessment for Learning: Beyond the Black Box [online], 2012/ 01/beyond_blackbox.pdf

Whitelock, Denise (2010). Activating Assessment for Learning: Are we on the way with WEB 2.0? In: Lee, Mark J. W. and McLoughlin, Catherine eds. Web 2.0-Based-E-Learning: Applying Social Informatics for Tertiary Teaching. IGI Global, pp. 319–342.

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