1st Edition

Rethinking Assessment in Higher Education Learning for the Longer Term

Edited By David Boud, Nancy Falchikov Copyright 2007
    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    Assessment is a value-laden activity surrounded by debates about academic standards, preparing students for employment, measuring quality and providing incentives. There is substantial evidence that assessment, rather than teaching, has the major influence on students’ learning. It directs attention to what is important and acts as an incentive for study.

    This book revisits assessment in higher education, examining it from the point of view of what assessment does and can do and argues that assessment should be seen as an act of informing judgement and proposes a way of integrating teaching, learning and assessment to better prepare students for a lifetime of learning. It is essential reading for practitioners and policy makers in higher education institutions in different countries, as well as for educational development and institutional research practitioners.


    Part 1. Setting the scene

    Chapter 1.

    Assessment for the longer term. 6

    David Boud and Nancy Falchikov

    Chapter 2.

    Reframing assessment as if learning was important. 25

    David Boud

    Part 2. The context of assessment

    Chapter 3

    Assessment in higher education: an impossible mission? 47

    Ron Barnett

    Chapter 4

    Learning assessment: students’ experiences in post-school qualifications 69

    Kathryn Ecclestone

    Part 3. Themes

    Chapter 5

    Contradictions of assessment for learning in institutions of higher learning 95

    Steinar Kvale

    Chapter 6

    Grading, classifying and future learning 118

    Peter Knight

    Chapter 7

    Assessment engineering: breaking down barriers between teaching and learning, and assessment. 143

    Filip Dochy, Mien Segers, David Gijbels and Katrien Struyven

    Chapter 8

    Rethinking feedback and assessment-for-learning 167

    Dai Hounsell

    Chapter 9

    Conceptions of self-assessment: what is needed for long term learning? 188

    Kelvin Tan

    Chapter 10

    The place of peers in assessment 212

    Nancy Falchikov

    Chapter 11

    Assessment and emotion: the impact of being assessed 242

    Nancy Falchikov and David Boud

    Part 4. The practice of assessment


    Chapter 12

    Writing about practice for future learning 264

    Peter Kandelbinder

    Chapter 13

    The contribution of sustainable assessment to teachers’ continuing professional development 277

    Margaret Kirkwood

    Chapter 14

    Developing assessment for informing judgement 299

    David Boud and Nancy Falchikov


    David Boud is Professor of Adult Education in the Faculty of Education, University of Technology, Sydney. He has been Foundation Director of the Professional Development Centre, University of New South Wales and President of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia. He has written widely on teaching, learning and assessment in higher and professional education and workplace learning.

    Nancy Falchikov is a psychologist by training and uses her discipline to help improve teaching and learning. She has taught in higher education for many years, and has conducted research into student involvement in assessment and peer learning. She has written widely on these subjects and is author of two books, Learning Together: Peer Tutoring in Higher Education and Improving Assessment through Student Involvement, both published by RoutledgeFalmer. She is presently a Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and Honorary Associate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Technology, Sydney.