Assessment of learning, Assessment for learning and as learning
Assessment can be a powerful force for supporting learning and a mechanism for individual empowerment. Assessment of learning involves approaches that might be assumed as tools for the provision of a framework for the collection of evidence of learning and skills development based on a particular systematic process. Assessment for learning and as learning includes approaches that might be considered as tools for learning, providing opportunities for students to develop new skills during their learning process. Some strategies and learning processes used for assessment for learning and as learning are ePortfolio, use of questioning, feedback provision, self and peer assessment, reflective processes through ICT, student response systems (SRS), which are technology-based tools, and assessment by a teacher or another assessment authority.
Formative assessment in particular has been prevalent in the educational discourse over the past decades, shifting the attention towards assessment practices that aid the learning and teaching process. "Formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students' achievement of intended instructional outcomes" (Formative Assessment for Students and Teachers (FAST) State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards (SCASS) (2008, October). Feedback is an integral part of formative assessment that requires teachers to develop designing skills so as to be specifically effective in designing and providing opportunities for their students to self-monitor and self-regulate their learning” (Dixon, 2011). Formative assessment of the progress of a learner is always important but especially so when the learning objective is a transversal skill; thus the ATS2020 model include innovative scaffolding assessment tools for and of learning.
The evolution of information and communication technologies (ICT) is deeply re-shaping society, giving rise to new competence needs. ICT can establish a link between teaching, learning and assessment providing an improved framework where the three elements interact. This interaction resulted to the new form of assessment; e-Assessment. E-Assessment is a form of assessment that is completely advanced using ICT and students’ progress is constantly monitored using different types of tools. E-Assessment tools are likely to provide additional opportunities for better understanding of students’ performance and achievements and assessing students’ 21st
century skills. These e-Assessment instruments or rubrics facilitate reflective processes such as a continuous peer-assessment planning, evaluation and feedback sharing and therefore providing a representation of learner’s ongoing progress. Furthermore, e-Assessment opens the way to new assessment tools and approaches in order to tackle new skills and competencies developed in addition to knowledge, something that was difficult to assess in more traditional assessment approaches.
There is a large number of resources available for formative assessment–check out some of these in the following section: