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Why teacher assessment is not enough

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Feedback loops lie at the heart of good education. Pupils need to know how they are doing, they need encouragement and they need to know how to get better. Teachers have a major role to play in facilitating this feedback both by direct provision and by creating situations where useful feedback is generated. It follows that the best teachers are skilled at assessing their pupils on a continuous basis and at providing well judged information to them.

But, they cannot assess all that is needed, they vary in their ability to assess and are biased. Further teachers themselves need feedback on their judgements and their actions.

Whilst the testing pendulum has swung too far in the direction of paper based grading new developments have opened up genuine advances which enable bespoke diagnostic assessments. These can provide feedback to learners and teachers and get round the major difficulties which have been linked to statutory end of key stage testing and to the reliance on teacher assessment.

This talk is part of the 5th Cambridge Assessment Conference: Challenges of assessment reform series.

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