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Unit rationale, description and aim

Assessment is about finding out what students have learned (to know, do and feel). This unit canvasses various debates and research on assessment purposes, practices and effects. It considers issues such as deciding what and how to assess, interpreting and using the evidence (especially in classroom planning, teaching and reporting) and the positive and negative consequences of assessment policies and practices. Policy and practice occur at system, district, school and classroom levels, involving different rationales, stakeholders and consequences. Key theories, concepts, principles and issues in assessment will be studied, especially concerning school and teacher practice and including distinctions between formative and summative assessment. Students will analyse their own or their school's practice in assessment from one or other of the perspectives introduced in this unit. Research studies on assessment will be used both for acquiring understanding of the substantive issues in assessment and for building capability in relevant research methods.

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