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David Boud's principles for "great assessment"

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

David Boud's principles for "great assessment" from his keynote at REAP conference.
Boud,D. (2007) "Great designs: what should assessment do?" REAP International Online Conference on Assessment Design for Learner Responsibility, 29th-31st May, 2007. Available at (visited 30 May 2007).

The brief for great assessment designs is that:

  1. They must provide whatever information is necessary for judgements to be recorded of student performance
  2. They must have a positive influence on what students do from prior to the act of assessment to their subsequent learning afterwards
  3. They must be valued by students as worthwhile activities

What principles should a great assessment design follow?

  1. The activity is a learning experience
  2. It is seen as valid and worthwhile
  3. It actively promotes learning and skills beyond the act itself
  4. The student is an active agent throughout
  5. It has a strong positive backwash effect on learning during the course
  6. It enables students to celebrate and portray achievements
  7. It is part of a sequence of great designs over the course as a whole
  8. It arises from a great learning environment
  9. It is not excessively resource-intensive
  10. It requires and prompts informed judgement

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