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Assessment Resource Centre (ARC)

  1. Years K-6
  2. Principles of Assessment for Learning
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Principles of Assessment for Learning

The following principles provide the criteria for judging the quality of assessment materials and practices.

emphasises the interactions between learning and manageable assessment strategies that promote learning

In practice, this means:

  • teachers reflect on the purposes of assessment and on their assessment strategies
  • assessment activities or tasks allow for demonstration of learning outcomes
  • assessment is embedded in learning activities or tasks and informs the planning of future learning activities or tasks
  • teachers use assessment to identify what a student can already do

clearly expresses for the student and teacher the goals of the learning activity or task

In practice, this means:

  • students understand the learning goals and the criteria that will be applied to judge the quality of their achievement
  • students receive feedback that helps them make further progress

reflects a view of learning in which assessment helps students learn better, rather than just achieve a better mark

In practice, this means:

  • teachers use tasks that assess, and therefore encourage, deeper learning
  • feedback is given in a way that motivates the learner and helps students to understand that mistakes are a part of learning and can lead to improvement
  • assessment is an integral component of the teaching-learning process rather than being a separate activity or task

provides ways for students to use feedback from assessment

In practice, this means:

  • feedback is directed to the achievement of standards and away from comparisons with peers
  • feedback is clear and constructive about strengths and weaknesses
  • feedback is individualised and linked to opportunities for improvement

helps students take responsibility for their own learning

In practice, this means:

  • assessment includes strategies for self-assessment and peer assessment emphasising the next steps needed for further learning

is inclusive of all learners

In practice, this means:

  • assessment against standards provides opportunities for all learners to achieve their best
  • assessment activities or tasks are free of bias.
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