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Assessment for learning: the differing perceptions of tutors and students

Maclellan, Effie (2001) Assessment for learning: the differing perceptions of tutors and students. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 26 (4). pp. 307-318. ISSN 0260-2938

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The purpose of this study was to describe assessment practices as these were experienced by tutors and students in one higher education establishment. Eighty members of faculty staff (80% return) and 130 3rd-year undergraduates (100% return) completed a 40-item questionnaire on their experiences of assessment. The questionnaire included items on the purpose of assessment, the nature and demand level of the tasks which were assessed, the timing of assessment and the procedures for marking and reporting. Statistical analyses of the data showed that there was a significant difference of perception between the two groups. These results are discussed in terms of alternative theoretical models of assessment and suggest that while staff declared a commitment to the formative purposes of assessment and maintained that the full range of learning was frequently assessed, they engaged in practices which militated against formative assessment and authentic assessment being fully realised.