© 2017

Ipsative Assessment and Personal Learning Gain

Exploring International Case Studies

  • Gwyneth Hughes

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Back Matter
    Pages 261-265

About this book


This innovative book offers a new approach to assessment in which learners can follow their own learning journey using cumulative feedback or measurements of distance travelled from different starting points. Education currently mirrors the values and practices of a highly competitive world  with testing, grading and monitoring of standards becoming its driving forces. Competition may stimulate high achievers, but may also demotivate or even damage the rest. Ipsative feedback (on progress) and personal learning gain measurements are often hidden. A range of global case studies from school and higher education illustrate four themes: the benefits of ipsative feedback, making good use of learning gain measurement, the challenges of implementing these novel practices and how to combine new approaches with traditional assessment methods. Exploring the difficulties of turning the tables on hierarchies based on achievement and whether it is fair to elevate progress, this book will be the start of conversations about a future that is not obsessed with testing and grades.


Student assessment Individual development Marking Feedback Learning gain Value-added Progress Motivation Personal learning Equality Competition Self-regulated learning

Editors and affiliations

  • Gwyneth Hughes
    • 1
  1. 1.UCL Institute of EducationUniversity of LondonLondonUnited Kingdom

About the editors

Gwyneth Hughes is a Reader in Higher Education at the Institute of Education, University College London, UK. After starting her career teaching in secondary education, she now has 20 years of experience of teaching, leadership, research and development work in higher education and is still learning. She is author of Ipsative Assessment: Motivation through Marking Progress and a co-author of Learning Transitions in Higher Education.

Bibliographic information