The paper "Assessing Learning" is a great example of a case study on education. The assessment has gain prominence over the recent past with more efforts and attention being addressed to the development and implementation of effective assessment policies, strategies, and techniques. Assessment is not only concerned with the teachers assessing the abilities and performance of their students but also, encompasses learners assessing their own learning styles and teaching styles with the view to acquire more knowledge and excel academically, administration assessing teachers and even government agencies assessing current educational courses, curriculums and learning institutions (Pollard, 2002, p. 289). More often than not, studies and literature on assessment in the educational settings have predominantly focused on generating guidance to teachers on how to enhance their assessment practices and systems and giving more emphasis to specific assessment issues namely validity, reliability, efficiency and transparency in order to carry out quality assessment procedures as discussed by Leathwood (2005, p. 308).
Moreover, more concern with the development and delivery of impartial and unbiased assessment systems and techniques as noted by Joughin (2008, p. 15). This forms the basis of this study which is to critically analyze an assessment document by Leathwood (2005) and how it affects my work as a learner.
In addition, the study will evaluate in depth the social, political, and policy purposes of this assessment and how they affect me as a learner. The main reason why the assessment document is of importance and affects me as a learner is its change in focus of assessment. The document shifts its focus from merely addressing assessment from fairness and transparency point of view to incorporating these two variables with addressing and understanding assessment from its social, political and historical context by examining the varied purposes of assessment, the standards, and equity as a means to enhancing quality assessment procedures Leathwood (2005, p. 308). The Assessment Document Leathwood, C.
2005. Assessment policy and practice in higher education: purpose, standards, and equity. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, Vol. 30, No. 3, June 2005, pp. 307– 324. Innovative approaches to the assessment processes and procedures are currently harmonized by an increased distinction of educational evaluation as a policy issue. This is illustrated by the increased interests in assessment tools and processes that enhance as well as to measure quality and standards, which have a huge impact on learners, teachers, learning institutions and particularly, the educational system.
This has, therefore, generated questions ranging from what is the educational curriculum content, who the decision-makers are, in whose interests assessments are carried out, and what is not integrated into assessment procedures. Riding on these observations, Leathwood, notes a rising trend where there is an increased need for improved reliability and comparability of assessment results and implementation of formative assessments done to enhance learning through transparent and negotiated assessment procedures that incorporate different assessment tools such as the assessment of prior experience and learning, self and peer assessment, portfolio work and learning diaries and criterion-referenced assessment (Leathwood, 2005, p. 312).
According to the document, Criterion-referenced assessment is the most preferred in enhancing openness since all learners are mandated to meet certain criteria for themselves instead of competing with fellow learners as characterized in norm references system.