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Assessment plays a vital role in the learning journey of students and their teachers.

The primary purpose of assessment is to improve students’ learning and teachers’ teaching as both student and teacher respond to the information that it provides. With this in mind, schools need to consider how they will gather, analyse, and use assessment information so that it is effective in meeting this purpose.

Assessment for the purpose of improving student learning is best understood as an ongoing process that arises out of the interaction between teaching and learning.

(NZC, p. 39)

Effective teachers use assessment to make students’ thinking visible and to support students’ learning.

They use a wide range of formal and informal assessments to  monitor learning progress, diagnose learning issues, and determine what they need to do next to further learning. In the course of regular classroom activity, they collect information about how students learn, what they know and are able to do, and what interests them. In this way, they find out what is working and what is not, and are able to make informed teaching and learning decisions.

‘In a nutshell: the teacher decides the learning intentions and success criteria, makes them transparent to the students, demonstrates them by modelling, evaluates if they understand what they have been told by checking for understanding, and retelling them what they have been told by tying it all together with closure.'

(Visible learning, Hattie, 2009. p. 216)

Further information

  • Anthony, G., & Walshaw, M. (2009). Assessment for learning (pp. 17–18). Effective Pedagogy in Mathematics. Belley: Gonnet Imprimeur.
  • Assessment Online – In this website we cover the key aspects of assessment in the context of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Last updated November 24, 2023