Respect ~ Responsibility ~ Personal Best

Assessment as a Process

Assessment as a process

 Assessment is often viewed as something that happens at the end of a unit of learning. However, assessment is more like a process than an event. It occurs throughout the teaching and learning cycle and helps us answer questions critical to learning and learners:

  • Where to next?
  • Where am I now?
  • How am I going?


Assessment can be 

  • used to inform student learning and progress 
  • used to inform and direct teaching 
  • used to make judgements about student achievement, progress and growth.
Assessment is used for different purposes. Clarifying your purpose will help you determine what type of assessment strategy or tool to use. Assessments are most valuable when they are are used for the purpose they were designed for.

Masters highlights four general principles that

underpin highly effective teaching. Each rely on the use of high quality evidence of student learning:

  1. Establish where individuals are in their learning.

2. Tailor teaching to the progress and needs of individual learners.

3. Provide personalised feedback to students that guide action.

4. Assist learners to see and appreciate the progress

they are making.

Sandra Rowan and Mary-Ellen Betts understand that wise assessment should inform good teaching using the NSW syllabuses.


Assessment as, for and of learning

Assessment for learning, assessment as learning and assessment of learning are approaches that can be used individually or together, formally or informally, to gather evidence about student achievement and to improve student learning. http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/support-materials/assessment-for-as-and-of-learning/

Assessment as learning

Assessment as learning occurs when students are their own assessors. Students monitor their own learning, ask questions and use a range of strategies to decide what they know and can do, and how to use assessment for new learning.

Assessment as learning:

  • encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning
  • requires students to ask questions about their learning
  • involves teachers and students creating learning goals to encourage growth and development
  • provides ways for students to use formal and informal feedback and self-assessment to help them understand the next steps in learning
  • encourages peer assessment, self-assessment and reflection.

Assessment for learning

Assessment for learning involves teachers using evidence about students' knowledge, understanding and skills to inform their teaching. Sometimes referred to as ‘formative assessment', it usually occurs throughout the teaching and learning process to clarify student learning and understanding. 

Assessment for learning:

  • reflects a view of learning in which assessment helps students learn better, rather than just achieve a better mark
  • involves formal and informal assessment activities as part of learning and to inform the planning of future learning
  • includes clear goals for the learning activity
  • provides effective feedback that motivates the learner and can lead to improvement
  • reflects a belief that all students can improve
  • encourages self-assessment and peer assessment as part of the regular classroom routines
  • involves teachers, students and parents reflecting on evidence
  • is inclusive of all learners.

Assessment of learning

Assessment of learning assists teachers in using evidence of student learning to assess achievement against outcomes and standards. Sometimes referred to as ‘summative assessment', it usually occurs at defined key points during a unit of work or at the end of a unit, term or semester, and may be used to rank or grade students. The effectiveness of assessment of learning for grading or ranking depends on the validity and reliability of activities. Its effectiveness as an opportunity for learning depends on the nature and quality of the feedback.

Assessment of learning:

  • provides evidence of achievement to the wider community, including parents, educators, the students themselves and outside groups
  • provides a transparent interpretation across all audiences.
  • can be used to plan future learning goals and pathways for students, so can also be used as assessment for learning