An international overview of assessment issues in technology education : disentangling the influences, confusion and complexities

S.V. McLaren
2007, Vol. 12, No. 2,


Set in the context of wider research, this review of
international literature describes some of the issues
that contribute towards the prevailing confusion
regarding the ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘why’ of assessment.
It explores the complexities embedded within
assessment of, for and as learning and the difficulties
arising in Technology Education.
It discusses what comprises the goals and purposes,
and precise nature of ‘content’ and how this impacts
on what is considered as important to measure in
terms of attainment, performance and achievement in
Technology Education. The paper examines the
influence of external assessment, the influence of the
teacher and the influence of the various approaches
and instruments of assessment on pedagogy,
achievement and learner performance and motivation.
The dimensions and discriminators of performance
and progression in Technology Education are
complex. The key issues need to be disentangled to
provide some clarity and inform practice. Greater
creativity is needed to help devise multi-dimension,
multi-expression assessment strategies which
celebrate the complexity and influence pedagogy
appropriate for learning in the 21st century.


Assessment is for learning ; Formative assessment ; Summative assessment ; Holistic assessment ; Motivation and goal orientation ; Teacher influence

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