H. J. Nenty & S. L. Lusweti (2014)

Assessment for Learning (AfL): Implications for the Achievement of the Goals of Basic Education in Africa

Abstract Learning, an unobservable variable intervenes between what is learned and performance. We cannot experience learning but we can see its results through the performance that accrues from it. That is, performance operationalises learning, but it is not often valid at doing this. Performance sometimes underestimates or overestimates learning. Assessment whether for formative or summative purposes are all performance-driven, hence they are assessment of learning (AoL), and reflects the extrinsic component of learning. Assessment for learning (AfL), on the other hand, is the assessment of the process of learning itself, and takes into consideration the intrinsic aspects of learning. What are the factors that underlie learning, or drives performance, and the difficulties in the act of learning? The complex construct – learning – can be decomposed and learners‟ standing on each of the resulting components assessed. While assessment of learning guns at scores that accrues from learning, assessment for learning guns at how the processes that underlie that which lead to such scores can be improved. This paper tries to do this after differentiating among the several types of assessment. The implications of AfL for the achievement of the goals of basic education are presented and discussed and based on these recommendations are made on the application of AfL for the achievement of such goals. Keywords: Assessment for learning; assessment of learning; continuous assessment; formative assessment; achievement of goals of basic education; Africa

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