Perils in the meticulous specification of goals and assessment criteria
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The implementation of assessment policies can sometimes achieve almost the reverse of what was originally intended. Studies published in a special issue of Assessment in Education provide the basis for this bird's eye view of particular practices in post compulsory education and training in the UK. Problems identified include the trend towards extremely fine grained approaches to measuring achievement, and a strong social drive to help learners, some with personal histories of spectacular 'unsuccess', obtain a qualification. The assessment practices focus on methods of getting students through - often at the expense of what it really means to learn. The present situation is unlikely to be turned around unless there is clear articulation of appropriate conceptual foundations for both pedagogy and assessment, followed by practices that are consistent with them. Assessment boards could play a critical leadership role in bringing this reform about.
Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice
© 2007 Taylor & Francis. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal link for access to the definitive, published version.