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The quality of assessment in higher education institutions has been the subject of review and critique for some time now, and the consensus has been that assessment practices need to change in order to prepare students for a 21st century knowledge-based society. Indeed, it has long been argued that the way we assess is more important for student learning than the way we teach. (e.g. Boud, 1988; Brown and Knight, 1994; Brown and Glasner 1999; Biggs, 2003.)
The practice of assessment demands that consideration be given to many issues. In respect to quality, there are questions of validity, reliability, fairness, fitness for, and clarity of purpose, and so on. The way assessment is carried out determines whether it is an integral part of the learning process or whether it is something done after the learning events. Conventional ways of assessing have not always demonstrated the extent of student learning, nor have they necessarily enhanced learning.
The following activities are designed to help you: