To determine students' level (of knowledge, understanding, ability) at beginning of course.
To enable students to identify and express learning needs.
To aid the tutor in structuring course contents.
To enable the tutor to judge student progress.
To enable students to judge their own progress.
To enable students to compare their current level (of knowledge, understanding & ability) with that of their peers.
To provide a context for feedback on student performance.
For purposes of certification.
|What is being assessed?|
Ability / competence
Combinations of the above
|Who can carry out assessment?|
Other tutors / assessors (within the organisation)
External examiners / assessors
Other students in the group
Others (e.g.: customers, consumers)
|When can assessment take place?|
Prior to course (to establish eligibility or entry level)
Beginning of course (to establish entry level, need)
Various stages during course (to gauge progress)
Prior to end of course
At end of course
After the course (to ensure continuity into practice)
|Where can assessment take place?|
In the "classroom" (or learning environment).
In an "exam room".
At home - or a place of private study.
In the workplace.
|How can assessment be carried out?|
Demonstration of competence
Observation by tutor
(all work done over duration of course)
Essay - assignment
Open book test
|Terminology - definitions|
Carried out throughout the course (or at various stages); can be used as a diagnostic aid -applied by the student for purposes of self-assessment - or by the tutor in order to provide feedback. (Assessment FOR learning)
Usually carried out at the end of the course; may be performance-based and may result in award of a grade. (Assessment OF learning)
Consists of pre-determined, measurable, "right" answers (may be written, numerical, multiple-choice, etc. - and could be conducted online.)
Requires an element of judgement by the assessor.
Assessment is made against a set of pre-determined criteria.
Assessment is made by comparing a student's performance with those of the peer group.
This is when a student's present performance is measured against their own previous and ongoing performance. It checks that progress is being made.
Principles and Practice of Assessment
in the Lifelong Learning Sector