DCU Learning Innovation Unit: Focus on Assessment and Feedback

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: