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R1C3 Congruence: Are forms of assessment fit-for-purpose in terms of overall educational objectives?

TLRP’s project on learning environments (Entwistle, 2009) studied ways in which assessment...

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Andrew Pollard
3 May 2010

TLRP’s project on learning environments (Entwistle, 2009) studied ways in which assessment activity is aligned with learning objectives, appropriate for student backgrounds and fully supported institutionally. Assessment was thus seen as being much more than a narrow technical process, but woven into educational organisations, subjects and their practices. Such congruence supports learning because the learner can more easily understand and engage if their experiences are consistent. This work built on the concept of ‘constructive alignment’ (Biggs, 2007). 

 In recent years, England’s focus on English and Mathematics though National Strategies, high-stakes assessment and school inspection made it difficult to provide a broad curriculum experience for pupils – the alignment between espoused educational goals and actual provision was weak. Indeed, the existence of national testing in England at Key Stage 2 remains controversial for this reason. But can such powerful influences be used more positively?  TLRP’s assessment Commentary is full of suggestions (Mansell et al, 2009).

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