© 2016

Assessment for Learning: Meeting the Challenge of Implementation

  • Dany Laveault
  • Linda Allal
  • Examines implementation of Assessment for Learning at three levels: policy enactment, professional learning of teachers and school leaders, and practices in classrooms and schools

  • Highlights challenges of implementation encountered in various contexts around the world

  • Provides a wealth of ideas, suggestions and recommendations for effective implementation of Assessment for Learning

  • Is a valuable sourcebook for educational leaders and professionals wishing to develop assessment in support of student learning


Part of the The Enabling Power of Assessment book series (EPAS, volume 4)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Assessment Policy Enactment in Education Systems

  3. Professional Development and Collaborative Learning About Assessment

  4. Assessment Culture and the Co-Regulation of Learning

About this book


This book provides new perspectives on Assessment for Learning (AfL), on the challenges encountered in its implementation, and on the diverse ways of meeting these challenges. It brings together contributions from authors working in a wide range of educational contexts: Australia, Canada, England, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Israel, Philippines, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States. It reflects the issues, innovations, and critical reflections that are emerging in an expanding international network of researchers, professional development providers, and policy makers, all of whom work closely with classroom teachers and school leaders to improve the assessment of student learning. 

The concept of Assessment for Learning, initially formulated in 1999 by the Assessment Reform Group in the United Kingdom, has inspired new ways of conceiving and practicing classroom assessment in education systems around the world. This book examines assessment for learning in a broad perspective which includes diverse approaches to formative assessment (some emphasizing teacher intervention, others student involvement in assessment), as well as some forms of summative assessment designed to support student learning. The focus is on assessment in K-12 classrooms and on the continuing professional learning of teachers and school leaders working with these classrooms. 

Readers of this volume will encounter well documented accounts of AfL implementation across a large spectrum of conditions in different countries and thereby acquire better understanding of the challenges that emerge in the transition from theory and policy to classroom practice. They will also discover a wealth of ideas for implementing assessment for learning in an effective and sustainable manner. The chapters are grouped in three Parts: (1) Assessment Policy Enactment in Education Systems; (2) Professional Development and Collaborative Learning about Assessment; (3) Assessment Culture and the Co-Regulation of Learning. An introduction to each Part provides an overview and presents the suggestions and recommendations formulated in the chapters. 


AfL Assessment policy Formative assessment Implementation of assessment Assessment culture Assessment in K-12 classrooms Assessment of learning Assessment tools Capacity building in education systems Classroom assessment Collaborative learning about assessment Co-regulation of learning Feedback from assessment Peer assessment Professional development in assessment Self-assessment Self-regulated learning Student learning Summative assessment

Editors and affiliations

  • Dany Laveault
    • 1
  • Linda Allal
    • 2
  1. 1.University of OttawaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.University of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland

Bibliographic information


“This book makes an original contribution to the field in a number of ways. The three-part structure of the volume beginning with assessment policy enactment at a system level, moving to professional development and collaborative learning at the district or school level and closing with explorations of assessment culture and co-regulation at the level of individual classrooms, teachers and/or students is unique and highly effective in capturing the inherent complexity and multi-faceted nature of AfL. In addition, … the volume has considerable coherence while also communicating an intense sense of the deeply contextualized nature of AfL practice.” (Dr. Martha Koch, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada)

“We needed to develop our understanding of keys to success in classroom assessment and assessment for learning through sharply focused research ... . We needed to create and bring into action high-quality professional development experiences for teachers, school leaders and policy makers. And we needed to promote the kinds of assessment and educational policies that guide practices that we know will promote each student’s academic and emotional well-being. As you read on in this volume, you will see that these same themes provide the organizational structure ... used to pool our collective wisdom”. (Rick Stiggins, in: Preface to this book, Assessment Training Institute, Portland, Oregon, USA)