Why does assessment matter so much? ‘Assessment methods and requirements probably have a greater influence on how and what students learn than any other single factor. This influence may well be of greater importance than the impact of teaching materials.’ Boud, 1988 Assessment is a complex, nuanced and highly important process. If we want to improve students’ engagement with learning, a key locus of enhancement can be refreshing our approaches to assessment and sometimes we need to take a fresh look at our current practice to make sure assessment is for rather than just of learning. This chapter has been informed not only by my own work on assessment and feedback over three decades but also by three key initiatives which have impacted significantly on how assessment is regarded and practised in recent years: propositions for assessment reform, assessment for learning, quality assurance and enhancement initiatives.
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