Learning Innovation Unit
The purpose and varying roles of Assessment
Assessment has always been an important aspect of student life and plays many roles:
- To test a student’s ability to demonstrate learning outcomes
- To enhance the learning process and lead to deeper understanding of course content
- To provide feedback to students on their learning
- To encourage and motivate students in their learning goals
- To aide evaluation and improve quality of teaching
Suskie (2004) highlights the role of assessment in the context and process of course planning and learning outcomes:
- Establishing clear, measurable expected outcomes of student learning
- Ensuring that students have sufficient opportunities to achieve those outcomes
- Systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence to determine how well student learning matches our expectations
- Using the resulting information to understand and improve student learning.
Suski, L. (2004) Assessing Student Learning - a common sense guide. Second Edition. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
The following readings also put assessment in the context of the current learner centred approach to course planning and delivery:
- Article on the Purposes of assessment by Chris Rust, Oxford Brookes University
- Assessment: Putting the theory into practice by Chris Rust, Oxford Brookes University. Presentation slides giving an overview of current assessment theory and practice and assessment and constructive alignment.
- Boud, D. (2000). Sustainable Assessment: Rethinking assessment for the learning society. Studies in Continuing Education, 22(2), 151-167. doi:10.1080/713695728
Paper exploring the double uses of assessment for testing competencies as well as teaching students the value of self assessment and what Boud refers to as ‘sustainable assessment'.