Internet-Based Assessment 2002 -2004



Working Bibliography on Assessment 2 (November 2002)

Assessment for learning (general):

Laurillard, D. (2002). Rethinking University Teaching (2nd.ed). London: RoutledgeFalmer.
A new edition of a classic text which explores a model of teaching and learning based on the idea that the aim of teaching is to 'make student learning possible'. Develops a model of education as conversation and gives close attention to assessment as feedback.

Wootton, S. (2002). Encouraging learning or measuring failure? Teaching in Higher Education, 7(3), 353-357.
A short polemic based on the claim: 'it is time to re-assess the whole educational process and the question whether the system exists to encourage learning or to measure failure.(Contact address: School of Higher Education, Barnsley College, Church Street, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S70 2YW, United Kingdom.)

Harvey, L. (2002). Evaluation for what? Teaching in Higher Education, 7(3), 245-263.
A review article that argues that 'external evaluation legitimates the status quo and fails to ask substantial questions about the nature of learning. External quality monitoring is pre-occupied with method and has almost entirely ignored a quarter of a century of research into learning theory, the nature and styles of learning and classroom innovations'. (Contact address: Centre for Research into Quality, University of Central England, 90 Aldridge Rd. Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 2TP, United Kingdom.)

Assessment for learning (key ideas):

Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment (2001). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
This influential text was produced after extensive trialling. It was prepared for language teachers, but can be generalised to other areas of performance. It focuses on the assessment of performance, and on the differentiation of different levels of performance.

Tara, M. (2002). Using assessment for learning and learning from assessment. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 27(6), 501-510.
A fine review, derived from Sadler's work, of the role of feedback in student learning through both formative and summative assessment. Contact address: School of Education, Chester Road, Sunderland SR1 3SD. United Kingdom (

History of testing:

Wolf, A. (2002). Ships in the American night?: Assessment paradigms and political imperatives. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 9(3), 379-386.
An essay review of a range of recent texts arising from the growth of testing in the USA. Suggests, however, that the 'whole delivers so much less that is novel….Which is sad because improving the nature of large-scale assessments and the way they affect teaching and learning is undojbtedly the major assessment issue of the decade' (contact address: Institute of Education, Bedford Way, London WC1H OAL.)

Assessment as a socio-technical process:

Stake, Robert E. (1999) The Goods on American Education. Phi Delta Kappan, May, 668-672.
A thorough review of the consequences of 'raising the stakes' of assessment in educational institutions. Contact Address: School of Education, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL 61820.

Grant, S. G. (2001). An uncertain lever: Exploring the influence of state-level testing in New York State on teaching social studies. Teachers College Record, 103(3), 398-426.
A valuable paper related to discussions about high stakes testing and the impact of test policy on schoolroom practice. Based on fieldwork in schoolrooms, it suggests that test policy is substantially mediated by the teaching context that it remains 'an uncertain lever'.

Gerard, B. (2002). Reflection in a critical eye: on the pitfalls of international assessment. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 9(3), 387-399.
An essay review of Knowledge and Skills for Life, the first results from the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Comments, for instance, on the 'overconfidence' of the report, its exaggerated emphasis on the socio-economic analysis of the results to the detriment of a contenxtual understanding of the outcomes' and the 'definite bias in the report in favour of assessing education from the point of view of economic efficiency somewhat overshadows another conception of education, prevailing in Europe, whereby education is just as much about social cohesion, personal fulfilment and cultural development'. (Contact address: Bedford Group, Institute of Education, Bedford Way, London WC1H OAL.)

Broadfoot, P. (2002). Editorial: Beware the consequences of assessment! Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 9(3), 285-288.
Suggest that the 'most important lesson' of the past decade is that 'it is essentiala that as much effort be given to documenting the impoact of assessment as has been traditionally been given to its design. Otherwise we are not only wasting our time as a community of scholars and practitioners; we may be also be in danger of unwittingly unleashing a Frankenstein's monster. Indeed, we may have already done so'. (Contact Address: Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1JA.)

Impact of the internet on testing:

Bennett, R. E. (2002). Inexorable and inevitable: The continuing story of technology and assessment. Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment ., 1(1). Available from
Written by a 'distinguished presidential appointee at Educational Testing Services in Princeton', this paper concludes that educational efforts (in the USA) 'need to go beyond the initial achievement of computerizing traditional multiple-choice tests to create assessment that facilitate learning and instruction in ways that paper measures cannot'.

S. Woolgar (ed.) (2002) Virtual Society? -technology, cyberbole, reality. Oxford Oxford University Press.
Provides valuable background to the social dimensions of technological change. It offers a counter-intuitive vision of the impact of new technologies, set against the question: Are we moving to a virtual society?


McConnell, D. (2002). The experience of collaborative assessment in e-learning. Studies in Continuing Education, 24(1), 73-92.
An interesting study of how students were able to engage in peer assessment, given the prior existence of clear criteria (of the kind identified in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, 2001). Contact address: School of Education, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2JN, United Kingdom (

Ricketts, C., & Wilks, S. J. (2002). Improving student performance through computer-based assessment: Insights from recent research. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 27(5), 475-479.
A short but provocative study of how the presentation of on-line testing affects the outcomes. Different performance was produced by presenting questions collectively, and presenting them one at a time. Contact address: C. Ricketts, Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Plymouth, Plymouth PL4 8AA.)