We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Personal understanding of assessment and the link to assessment practice : the perspectives of higher education staff.

Reimann, N. and Sadler, I. (2017) 'Personal understanding of assessment and the link to assessment practice : the perspectives of higher education staff.', Assessment and evaluation in higher education., 42 (5). pp. 724-736.


The study investigates how higher education staff understand assessment, and the relationship between these understandings and their assessment practices. Nine individuals attended a workshop that guided them through the creation of a concept map about assessment, which was subsequently discussed in one-to-one semi-structured interviews. We found considerable variation in understanding of assessment, both between and within participants, and this appeared to be a consequence of the varied contexts within which assessment operates. Some assessment practices were highly complex, and at times closely entwined with teaching. In addition, individuals’ practices helped to illuminate variation in how underlying concepts (e.g. assessment for learning) were understood. The approach supported the construction of the participants’ understanding of assessment, and enabled the exploration of the interplay between thinking and reported practice, which were closely aligned. It also drew attention to the need to further develop methodologies which capture both the complexity of thinking about assessment and real-world assessment practices.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education on 02/06/2016, available online at:
Date accepted:01 April 2016
Date deposited:04 May 2016
Date of first online publication:02 June 2016
Date first made open access:02 December 2017

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar