How convincing is alternative assessment for use in higher education?

  • Maclellan E
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Abstract

The current preference for alternative assessment has been partly stimulated by recent evidence on learning which points to the importance of students' active engagement in the learning process. While alternative assessment may well fulfil the aims of formative assessment, its value in the summative assessment required in higher education is more problematic. If alternative assessment devices are to be used for summative purposes, the validity of alternative assessment has to be considered. The paper argues that task specification and marking consistency in alternative assessment can make comparability of performance difficult to effect, thereby leaving alternative assessment a less than convincing form for use in higher education.

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