George Brown is a retired professor from the University of Nottingham

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Intended Learning Outcomes

Methods of Learning
Assessment methods and tasks
Marking Feedback

Quality Management



Code of Practice

Programme specification


Professional Bodies

In summary, the model provides a basis for effective assessment, it demonstrates that course design and effective assessment are inseparable

The purposes of assessment
The three main purposes of assessment are:
• to give a licence to proceed to the next stage or to graduation;
• to classify the performance of students in rank order;
• to improve their learning.
These purposes may overlap or conflict. A common error is to use an assessment task for one set of purposes and then assume that the results from it are appropriate for other purposes. For example, reflective diaries or records of achievement can be useful during the process of learning but if they are used to make judgements or recommendations for employment then students may be reluctant to report honestly their thoughts and feelings. When 'licence to proceed' is a key concern, the assessment tasks should be based on core knowledge and skills and the pass/fail threshold should be absolutely secure. If the primary purpose of assessment is to place the students in rank order, the assessment tasks should be designed to differentiate the capabilities of a wide range of students.

Purposes are related to summative and formative assessment. Summative assessment contributes to the marks for a module, level or degree. Formative assessment provides feedback to students during the course so they have opportunities to improve. Clearly formative assessment overlaps with feedback in learning. Course work assessment is usually both summative and formative. It is supposed to give feedback and count towards the final profile of marks. When this happens, the in-course assessment becomes part of a multiple point summative assessment. Heavy assessment loads and other commitments may tempt us to provide perfunctory feedback.

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