Assessment design for learner responsibility by David Nicol

Ten Principles of Good Assessment and Feedback Practice Good assessment and feedback practices should:
  1. Help clarify what good performance is (goals, criteria, standards). To what extent do students in your course have opportunities to engage actively with goals, criteria and standards, before, during and after an assessment task?
  2. Encourage ‘time and effort’ on challenging learning tasks. To what extent do your assessment tasks encourage regular study in and out of class and deep rather than surface learning?
  3. Deliver high quality feedback information that helps learners self-correct. What kind of teacher feedback do you provide – in what ways does it help students self-assess and self-correct?
  4. Encourage positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem. To what extent do your assessments and feedback pro cesses activate your students’ motivation to learn and be successful?
  5. Encourage interaction and dialogue around learning (peer and teacher- student. What opportunities are there for feedback dialogue (peer and/or tutor-student) around assessment tasks in your course?
  6.  Facilitate the development of self-assessment and reflection in learning. To what extent are there formal opportunities for reflection, self-assessment or peer assessment in your course?
  7. Give learners choice in assessment – content and processes To what extent do students have choice in the topic s, methods, criteria, weighting and/or timing of learning and assessment tasks in your course?
  8.  Involve students in decision-making about assessment policy and practice. To what extent are your students in your course kept informed or engaged in consultations regarding assessment decisions?
  9. Support the development of learning communities To what extent do your assessments and feedback pro cesses help support the development of learning communities?
  10.  Help teachers adapt teaching to student needs To what extent do your assessment and feedback processes help inform and shape your teaching? 

Nicol, D. (2007). Principles of good assessment and feedback: Theory and practice. From the
REAP International Online Conference on Assessment Design for Learner Responsibility, 29th-31st May, 2007 . Available at

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