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Purposes of assessment


The purposes of assessment can vary widely. The main purposes are usually certification / accreditation (for example, for obtaining a driving license); system monitoring (in the case of large-scale assessments); classification / advice (for example, to identify a learner’s appropriate direction and level of further study); and for providing feedback for learning. Two good resources on this issue are Rust 2002 and Newton 2007. These purposes should be clearly identified for each assessment exercise, as the conceptualisation of the assessment depends on the purpose.


Newton, P.E. (2007). Clarifying the purposes of educational assessment. Assessment in Education, Vol. 14, Nr. 2, pp. 149-170.

Rust, C. (2002). Purposes and principles of assessment. Learning and Teaching Briefing Papers Series. Oxford: Oxford Brookes University, Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development OCSLD.  

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