Tony Gurr

Back to School – ASSESSMENT for DUMMIES…

In Assessment on 08/09/2011 at 7:17 am

I thought I’d continue with the “back-to-school” series with something on assessment – the guys at Wiley Publishing (or rather their “army of dummies’ lawyers”) have not caught up with me yet and the “other series” is also proving popular!

I’m also running this series for people new to allthingslearning – helping them get a better feel of the blog and all the links that can be used to explore the various posts). Guys – remember, all the “links” are in red (not blue) so just “click” to follow up on a post…


Assessmentthe area we love to hate!

As teachers, our lives in the world of education, whether we like it or not, are dominated by assessment. Indeed, it is this fact that has led commentators to suggest that “assessment is the sharp end of teaching and learning” (Race).

However, did you know:


There are three posts you might want to start with:


All good educators know that assessment is a critical component of any successful learning and teaching experience. They also recognise that assessment is one of the main parts of the “job” of teaching or supporting learning.

Students know MORE!

Students know that it is assessment that mediates all teaching and learning relationships. They know there is nothing more central to the learning experience than assessment.

They know assessment can affect their whole future careers and…lives!

For students, the type of assessment they know is “around the corner” determines:

  • what they define as important;
  • when they tune in and tune out during formal learning opportunities;
  • what they study in their own time and how much they engage with their subject matter;


  • how they come to see themselves as students, graduates and people in later life


In a nutshell, and to borrow the words of John Cowen:

– and it determines not only what students learn but how they go about learning it.


If this is the case (and it is – trust me on this), maybe we should be doing “better”if we let the “examocracy” win, we only have ourselves to blame!

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