WHAT DO WE MEAN BY ASSESSMENT? Issues to do with assessment in the tertiary setting are complex and in a state of rapid development. Add to this the increasing diversity of the student body, with diverse expectations and learning experiences, and assessment can become an area that is not only complex but frustrating as well, for both students and teachers. Assessment is best seen in the whole context of teaching and learning. There should be a constructive alignment between instruction, learning and assessment (Gulikers et al. 2004; Biggs 2003). For classroom assessment the purpose may be to measure knowledge, to measure skill or ability, to provide feedback to the instructor, to provide feedback to the student, or some combination of all these purposes (Duncan and Noonan 2007). It is important to reﬂect on whether you are using assessment to measure what has been learnt or whether it is one of the means of facilitating learning (Candela et al. 2006; Dalglish 2001). Formative or Summative Assessment Assessment is frequently described as either formative or summative. Formative assessment happens while learning is still occurring, while summative assessment comes at the end of learning. Assessment is part of the learning process, as student learning is largely dependent on assessment and on the students’ perception of the assessment requirements. This makes it vital that whatever assessment processes are used, they are aligned with the clearly articulated objectives of the learning, and that they acknowledge and respond to diversity in the student body. It...
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