Why don’t the marks go up?

Given tha amount of work that we put into formative assessment, why don’t students do better in summative assessment?

This was one of the recurring themes at the EARLI/Northumbria Assessment Conference, first raised in Liz McDowell’s keynote. Liz wondered if the explanation might be that we sometimes norm-reference our summative assessment, even when we claim we don’t do this.

Sue Bloxham (in discussion after Liz’s paper) and Gordon Stobart (in the final keynote of the Conference) saw the problem as a lack of alignment between formative and summative assessment.

If our formative interventions are not having any obvious impact, we certainly ought to be investigating this further.

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