Last changed 30 June 2015 ............... Length about 400 words (4,000 bytes).
(Document started on 15 Apr 2007.) This is a WWW document maintained by Steve Draper, installed at You may copy it. How to refer to it.

Web site logical path: [] [~steve] [rap] [principles] [this page]

Liz McDowell's 6 conditions

By Steve Draper,   Department of Psychology,   University of Glasgow.

Assessment for Learning requires a learning environment that :

  1. emphasises authenticity and complexity in the content and methods of assessment rather than reproduction of knowledge and reductive measurement
  2. uses high-stakes summative assessment rigorously but sparingly rather than as the main driver for learning
  3. offers students extensive opportunities to engage in the kinds of tasks that develop and demonstrate their learning, thus building their confidence and capabilities before they are summatively assessed
  4. is rich in feedback derived from formal mechanisms e.g. tutor comments on assignments, student self-review logs
  5. is rich in informal feedback e.g. peer review of draft writing, collaborative project work, which provides students with a continuous flow of feedback on "how they are doing"
  6. develops students' abilities to direct their own learning, evaluate their own progress and attainments and support the learning of others


Biggs, J (1999) Teaching for quality learning at university (Buckingham; SRHE & Open University Press)

Black, P. and William, D. (1998) "Assessment and classroom learning" Assessment in Education 5 (1) 7-74

Falchikov, N. (2005) Improving student assessment through student involvement (Routledge: Falmer)

Hager, P., & Butler, J. (1996) Two models of educational assessment. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 21(4), pp. 367-378

Knight & Yorke (2003) Assessment, learning and employability (Maidenhead: SRHE & Open University Press)

Sambell, K & McDowell, L (1998) The construction of the hidden curriculum: messages and meaning in the assessment of student learning, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 23(4), 1998, pp.391-402

Sambell, K., McDowell, L. & Brown, S. (1997) "But is it fair?" an exploratory study of student perceptions of the consequential validity of assessment Studies in Educational Evaluation 23 (4), 1997 pp 349-371

CETL AfL: Northumbria

Web site logical path: [] [~steve] [rap] [principles] [this page]
[Top of this page]