Sunday, November 27, 2011

Making Assessment Matter

The book "Making Assessment Matter" (Graham Butt, Continuum, 2010) is a short, 145 page, introduction to assessment issues for teachers. While it is aimed at school teachers in the UK, I found it useful for my study of university assessment in Australia.


Teachers often spend a considerable amount of their time monitoring and assessing their pupils’ performance. But what are we assessing for, and can assessment practices be changed to make them more useful to teachers and learners?

Assessment activities in schools are frequently criticised by government inspectors – often being reported as the least successful aspect of schools' work.

Drawing on established research, Making Assessment Matter focuses on the purpose of assessment, and suggests strategies for managing assessment in a more effective way. The author considers the role of assessment in promoting learning, rather than simply measuring it, provides tips on setting and attaining assessment targets, and brings together considerations of ‘high stakes’ assessment at the national level with day-to-day assessment practice in the classroom.

This timely and informative book will be essential reading for anyone involved with, or interested in, the role of assessment within schools, including teachers, trainee teachers and managers.

Table of Contents

Preface \ 1. Introducing assessment \ 2. Using assessment to promote learning \ 3. Can assessment raise standards? \ 4. The influence of 'high stakes' and 'low stakes' assessment \ 5. Formative and summative assessment: 'We need to talk' \ 6. Marking, feedback and self-assessment communicating the results of assessment \ 7. Achieving assessment targets \ 8. Equality of opportunity in assessment - the case of boys' underachievement \ 9. Making assessment easier? The role of e-assessment \ 10. Making assessment matter \ References \ Index


Graham Butt, Graham Butt is Reader in Geography Education, Director of Academic Planning and Deputy Head of the School of Education at the University of Birmingham, UK.

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