Assessment is an important part of the learning process and is not only a measure of the learner’s progress but is used as an assessment of the success of the policy makers in the Government department , the teachers and other education providers. Fawbert (2003) defines the educational meaning of the word assessment is ’to judge the learners performance against identified criteria’. Correct and reliable assessment of learners allow the education organization to identify strengths and weaknesses in the current programmes , this then should give the policymakers to monitor standards and formulate changes in policies. I enable teachers to monitor and measure progress not only in the learner but also in the teaching. For the learner it enables the identification of strengths and weaknesses but also can give motivation and help to make improved decisions about further education or career. Assessment has an important role in education as it determines most of the work undertaken , affects the learner’s approach to learning and does give an indication of which parts of the course is most highly valued.
In my education, in the early 1970’s assessment was concentrated on end of year examinations with the occasional classroom tests during the term. At University the final examinations were the only assessment in the final 2 years and very little was done in the interim period. This showed virtual complete reliance on summative assessment, which has now been deemed as old, fashioned and flawed. This was superseded by Lawrence Stenhouse’s (1975) ‘process curriculum model’ where the teacher started to integrate formative assessment into the learning experience. In the last 10 years OFSTED have regularly inspected Further Educational Colleges which as noted and emphasized by Fawbert (2003) made one of the key questions in the Common Inspection Framework is ‘How effective are the assessment and monitoring of learning’