The assessment problem

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Starting premise

Assessment drives education - or to be more precise, summative assessment drives education.


Basic requirements of summative assessment

Summative assessment needs to meet a number of basic requirements in order to be viable/cost effective. It must:

  • enable comparisons to be made between learners (eg Person X did/is better than Person Y)
  • be scalable (ie be able to be applied to huge numbers of learners at a reasonable cost)
  • provide concise outputs (ie provide 'results' in a format that makes it easy and quick to make comparisons across learners)
  • be credible (people must believe that the comparisons that the assessment enables are meaningful/useful - this does not necessarily equate with assessment validity)

Ideally summative assessment should also:


The problem

At present we have a range of forms of assessment that