Literature Review on Formative Assessment in Higher Education

Topics: Educational psychology, Assessment, Formative assessment Pages: 60 (13930 words) Published: June 10, 2012
Mental Health and Social Work Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Enhancing Pedagogic Research

Literature Review on Formative Assessment in Higher Education

Nick Gauntlett November 2007

Contents 1.
1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4

Page 3
3 3 4 4

Background Mental Health and Social Work CETL Project Group for Enhancing Pedagogic Research Aim of the review

2.1 2.2

Sources of Data Search and Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria

5 5

3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4

What is formative assessment? What is the difference between formative assessment and summative assessment? What is the difference between formative assessment and feedback? What formative assessment models and practices are available in educational literature? 3.4.1 3.4.2 Models and Principles Practices and Strategies

7 9 10 12 13 16

4.1 4.2

Limitations and Recommendations
Limitations of the Review Recommendations

29 29


Bibliography Summary of Search Literature Assignment Guidelines for Patchwork Test

30 36 41

Appendix A. Appendix B.


1. Introduction
1.1 Background

One of the main drivers for this literature review on formative assessment is the new Learning Framework at Middlesex University, which is being implemented during 2007 in order to “significantly enhance the student experience”1. Curriculum designers are expected to develop new programmes that feature increased use of formative assessment and feedback in addition to summative coursework. It is expected that by increasing formative assessment, students will be offered more support and more feedback to support their learning during the period of study. Although the review will be made available to all staff at Middlesex University, it has been written specifically to support the teaching staff working in the Mental Health and Social Work Centre for Excellence for Teaching and Learning (CETL)2.


Mental Health and Social Work CETL

The CETL in Mental Health and Social Work is made up of the Mental Health and Social Work Academic Group of the School of Health and Social Sciences at Middlesex University. Along with 73 initiatives, the Academic Group was awarded CETL status by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in its largest ever funding initiative for rewarding excellent teaching practice. Its purpose is to further invest in this practice for delivering substantial benefits to students, teachers and universities, and to enhance this excellence in teaching and learning practice. The CETL’s vision is to offer the best possible learning environments for studying, such as developing new teaching facilities and informal learning spaces, and to further increase the quality of teaching and learning practices across Mental Health and Social Work programmes. It also aims to integrate campus and practice-based learning and teaching to enhance student learning experiences and outcomes, including workplace performance, through pedagogic and curriculum innovation. The CETL work programme is being put into action via a number of Project Groups. Consisting of key stakeholders, including staff, service users, carers and students, each of the 5 Project Groups have been created to assist the development of innovative programmes that incorporate high quality teaching and learning practices. The groups each focus on: Service User & Carer Involvement; Interprofessional Working; Essential Shared Capabilities; Evaluation, and Enhancing Pedagogic Research. See the CETL pages at the Middlesex University website ( for overview of each group. 1 2

Taken from “A general guide to the Learning Framework” (Middlesex University)

There are 2 “CETLs” at Middlesex University. In this document all references to the “CETL” relate to that based in the Mental Health and Social Work Department


Each Project Group has its own work programme to assist the CETL in meeting its aims...
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