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An international overview of assessment issues in technology education : disentangling the influences, confusion and complexities

McLaren, S.V. (2007) An international overview of assessment issues in technology education : disentangling the influences, confusion and complexities. Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, 12 (2). pp. 10-24. ISSN 1360-1431

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Abstract

Set in the context of wider research, this review of international literature describes some of the issues that contribute towards the prevailing confusion regarding the 'what', 'when' and 'why' of assessment. It explores the complexities embedded within assessment of, for and as learning and the difficulties arising in Technology Education. It discusses what comprises the goals and purposes, and precise nature of 'content' and how this impacts on what is considered as important to measure in terms of attainment, performance and achievement in Technology Education. The paper examines the influence of external assessment, the influence of the teacher and the influence of the various approaches and instruments of assessment on pedagogy, achievement and learner performance and motivation. The dimensions and discriminators of performance and progression in Technology Education are complex. The key issues need to be disentangled to provide some clarity and inform practice. Greater creativity is needed to help devise multi-dimension, multi-expression assessment strategies which celebrate the complexity and influence pedagogy appropriate for learning in the 21st century.