Formative assessment should provide a key role in all education and particularly in vocational education and training. Formative assessment can give vital feedback to learners and guidance in the next steps of their learning journey. It can also help teachers in knowing what is effective and what is not, where the gaps are and help in planning learning interventions.
Yet all too often it does not. Assessment is all too often seen at best as something to overcome and at worst as a stress inducing nightmare. With new regulations in England requiring students in further education to pass tests in English and Mathematics, students are condemned to endless retaking the same exams regardless of achievement in vocational subjects.
For all these reasons a new report published by Jisc today is very welcome.
Existing and emerging technologies are starting to play a role in changing assessment and could help address these issues, both today and looking further ahead into the future, to make assessment smarter, faster, fairer and more effective.
The report sets five targets for the next five years to progress assessment towards being more authentic, accessible, appropriately automated, continuous and secure.
Authentic: Assessments designed to prepare students for what they do next, using technology they will use in their careers
Accessible: Assessments designed with an accessibility-first principle
Appropriately automated: A balance found of automated and human marking to deliver maximum benefit to students
Continuous: Assessment data used to explore opportunities for continuous assessment to improve the learning experience
Secure: Authoring detection and biometric authentication adopted for identification and remote proctoring
The report: ‘The future of assessment: five principles, five targets for 2025’ can be downloaded from Report on Jisc website.