Monday, 15 October 2012


The Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre) is part of the Social Science Research Unit at the Institute of Education, University of London and they have produced some hugely important research about the impact of testing on learning and motivation.

"After the introduction of the National Curriculum tests in England, low-achieving pupils had lower self-esteem than higher-achieving students; before the tests, there had been no correlation between self-esteem and achievement.  Low self-esteem reduces the chance of future effort and success. High-stakes tests can result in transmission teaching and highly-structured activities.  This favours only students with certain learning styles.  These tests can become the rationale for all that is done in the classroom. A strong emphasis on testing produces students with a strong extrinsic orientation towards grades and social status, i.e. a motivation towards performance rather than learning goals.  Students dislike high-stakes tests, showing high levels of test anxiety, and are aware that they give only a narrow view of what they can do. Interest and effort are increased in classrooms which encourage self-regulated learning by providing students with an element of choice, control over challenge and opportunities to work collaboratively. Feedback that is ego-involving rather than task-involving is associated with an orientation to performance goals.

So what are the implications? There should be an emphasis on learning rather than performance goals by teachers and in professional development.  Teachers should avoid comparisons between students based on test results. Teachers should develop students' understanding of the goals of their learning, the criteria by which they are assessed and their ability to assess their own work, and encourage self-regulation in learning. There should be a move towards testing individual students when teachers judge them to be ready.  Schools should develop assessment policies that include both formative and summative assessment and ensure that the purpose of all assessment is clear to those involved. Policies for school evaluation should ensure that it: covers a full range of subjects; includes moral, spiritual and cultural as well as cognitive aims; and includes a variety of teaching methods and learning outcomes. For tracking national standards, only a sample of students needs to be tested. Comparisons among schools in terms of test results should be avoided and the practice of basing targets only on test results should be ended."
Harlen W, Deakin Crick R (2002) A systematic review of the impact of summative assessment and tests on students' motivation for learning.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your grateful informations, this blogs will be really help for Exam results.


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