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Perspectives in Education

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Formative assessment as mediation

M de Vos, DZ Belluigi

Abstract


Whilst principles of validity, reliability and fairness should be central concerns for the assessment of student learning in higher education, simplistic notions of ‘transparency’ and ‘explicitness’ in terms of assessment criteria should be critiqued more rigorously. This article examines the inherent tensions resulting from CRA’s links to both behaviourism and constructivism and argues that more nuance and interpretation is required if the assessor is to engage his/her students with criterion-based assessment from a constructivist paradigm. One way to negotiate the tensions between different assessment ideologies and approaches meaningfully is to construe assessment as ‘mediation’. This article presents an example assessment rubric informed by John Biggs’ (1999) SOLO Taxonomy.



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