© 2014

Designing Assessment for Quality Learning

  • Claire Wyatt-Smith
  • Valentina Klenowski
  • Peta Colbert


  • Considers broad-scale assessment approaches and how they impact on educational opportunity and outcomes

  • Brings together internationally recognised scholars providing new insights into assessment for learning improvement and accountability

  • Presents different theoretical and methodological perspectives influential in the field of assessment, learning and social change

  • Contributes to the theorising of assessment in contexts characterised by heightened accountability requirements and constant change


Part of the The Enabling Power of Assessment book series (EPAS, volume 1)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvii
  2. Claire Wyatt-Smith, Valentina Klenowski, Peta Colbert
    Pages 1-20
  3. Assessment Quality

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 21-21
    2. Jill Willis, Bronwen Cowie
      Pages 23-37
    3. Esther Care, Patrick Griffin, Zhonghua Zhang, Danielle Hutchinson
      Pages 55-71
    4. Patrick Griffin, Esther Care, Michael Francis, Claire Scoular
      Pages 73-87
  4. Becoming Assessment Literate

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 89-89
    2. Knut Steinar Engelsen, Kari Smith
      Pages 91-107
    3. Jeffrey K. Smith, Lisa F. Smith
      Pages 123-136
  5. Teachers’ Responsibilities in Assessment

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 181-181
    2. Claire Wyatt-Smith, Valentina Klenowski
      Pages 195-210
    3. Peta Colbert, J. Joy Cumming
      Pages 211-231

About this book


This book brings together internationally recognised scholars with an interest in how to use the power of assessment to improve student learning and to engage with accountability priorities at both national and global levels. It includes distinguished writers who have worked together for some two decades to shift the assessment paradigm from a dominant focus on assessment as measurement towards assessment as central to efforts to improve learning. These writers have worked with the teaching profession and, in so doing, have researched and generated key insights into different ways of understanding assessment and its relationship to learning.

The volume contributes to the theorising of assessment in contexts characterised by heightened accountability requirements and constant change. The book’s structure and content reflect already significant and growing international interest in assessment as contextualised practice, as well as theories of learning and teaching that underpin and drive particular assessment approaches. Learning theories and practices, assessment literacies, teachers’ responsibilities in assessment, the role of leadership, and assessment futures are the organisers within the book’s structure and content.

The contributors to this book have in common the view that quality assessment, and quality learning and teaching are integrally related. Another shared view is that the alignment of assessment with curriculum, teaching and learning is linchpin to efforts to improve both learning opportunities and outcomes for all. Essentially, the book presents new perspectives on the enabling power of assessment. In so doing, the writers recognise that validity and reliability - the traditional canons of assessment – remain foundational and therefore necessary. However, they are not of themselves sufficient for quality education. The book argues that assessment needs to be radically reconsidered in the context of unprecedented societal change. Increasingly, communities are segregating more by wealth, with clear signs of social, political, economic and environmental instability. These changes raise important issues relating to ethics and equity, taken to be core dimensions in enabling the power of assessment to contribute to quality learning for all. This book offers readers new knowledge about how assessment can be used to re/engage learners across all phases of education.


accountability requirements assessment culture assessment for learning assessment literacy assessment practice assessment reform assessment tasks digital assessment educational assessment educational opportunity educational outcomes ethics and equity formative assessment improving learning outcomes large-scale testing national curriculum reform quality learning for all reform of education systems student involvement in assessment theories of learning and teaching understanding assessment validity and reliability

Editors and affiliations

  • Claire Wyatt-Smith
    • 1
  • Valentina Klenowski
    • 2
  • Peta Colbert
    • 3
  1. 1.Australian Catholic UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Australian Catholic UniversityBrisbaneAustralia

Bibliographic information


“This is very well written and reader friendly; Designing assessment for quality learning is a must for those working in the field. Many will find excellent points for consideration and many teachers and researchers will be glad of the near future views of what, how, where and why assessment will change the way we teach and learn.” (Jesús García Laborda, British Journal of Educational Technology, Vol. 46 (3), 2015)