11-06 Assessment for future learning and research: Trends and perspectives

Description Course (no. 11-06)

This masterclass includes presentations and assignments which will encourage the participants to broaden their knowledge about assessment. Both conceptual and instrumental contributions will be included, to assure that participants understand that assessment is more than just implementing an instrument and has substantially wider educational implications.

Course objectives

The course objectives of this masterclass are that you:

  • are aware of the different purposes of assessment practices;
  • understand the use and consequences of assessment purposes and -instruments;
  • develop a personal perspective on assessment;
  • are able to embed the course elements in the context of your own research.


Participants are required:

  • to motivate why they participate in this masterclass;
  • to select a relevant article on assessment to be presented to the peer group;
  • to present their research and to define two or three questions that they should try to answer using the contributions of this masterclass;
  • to actively engage in discussions about the purpose of assessment and the implications for research.


  • Prof .dr. Cees van der Vleuten, Maastricht University
  • Dr. Dominique Sluijsmans, HAN University / Maastricht University
  • Dr. Jan van Tartwijk, University of Leiden
  • Dr. Erik Driessen, Maastricht University
  • Dr. Liesbeth Baartman, University of Utrecht
  • Dr. Judith Gulikers, Wageningen University
  • Dr. Jan-Willem Strijbos, University of Leiden

Summary of the contributions

Dr. Dominique Sluijsmans and prof. dr. Cees van der Vleuten:

  • Assessment for the future: Which elements drive learning on the long term?
    To become successful lifelong professionals, learners need to develop expertise and engage in a variety of tasks that foster continuous self-improvement. In making the transition from university to work however, many starters experience difficulties in establishing and maintaining their professional learning. Moreover, current assessment practice in education requires learners to achieve standards with certification as the ultimate goal. Although it is widely acknowledged that continuous self-improvement is crucial in many professions (Boud, 2000), our current educational system is still dominated by assessment models that do not foster long-term learning. The fixed terms for standardised exams assume uniformity of learners and a finiteness of learning: for those who are among the best of their peer group or attain the minimal standards, there is no reason to continue learning. Moreover, these models reinforce learners test behaviour - the books disappear in the drawer after the final exams (Frederiksen, 1984). This short-term focus on assessment hampers learning in the long-term, because certified students may not be equipped to continue learning in the ways needed for employment. In this panel discussion, it is argued that if we strive for learning on the long-term both assessment models and the current purposes of assessment are not sufficient. In this contribution, we introduce three elements that may impact the assessment for the longer term: integrated assessment tasks, the communication about assessment results and the involvement of students in assessment. Participants are engaged to interactively discuss these elements.

Dr. Jan van Tartwijk and Dr. Erik Driessen:

  • Portfolios and learning from experience
    To learn form experiences, trainees have to (a) self-assess their task performance, (b) reflect on what went right or wrong, why and what was their own part in this, and (c) makes plans for improvement. The literature shows that the quality of self assessment is problematic. Portfolios can help trainees to improve the validity of their self assessment and ground their reflections. Portfolio can also be used as tools for summative assessment. For assessors the challenge is to combine evidence from various sources which is gathered in different contexts. Strategies from qualitative research can be helpful here.In the workshop, first we will present an overview of research findings about the quality of portfolio assessment for formative and summative purposes. Subsequently, the participants will practice with assessing and discussing competence using information from a portfolio.

Dr. Liesbeth Baartman:

  • Quality of Competence Assessment Programmes
    Many authors argue that competence should be assessed using a mix or programme of different assessment methods. Such programmes, or Competence Assessment Programmes, are often used in practice, and consist of combinations of both traditional tests and newer assessment methods. The quality of such assessments is highly debated, in which traditional tests are said to be less valid for the assessment of competence, while newer assessment such as portfolios or performance assessments are argued to be too unreliable to be used for summative purposes. In this workshop, a framework of 12 quality criteria for CAPs is presented and discussed. New approaches to validity and reliability are combined with quality criteria such as meaningfulness and fitness for self-assessment. Participants are encouraged to evaluate the quality of the assessment used in their own research, and to provide strong arguments / evidence to support quality.

Dr. Judith Gulikers:

  • Designing authentic assessments
    This contribution will elaborate on authentic assessment. What is it? How do students/teachers perceive it and how does it influence student learning? A five-dimensional framework for authenticity and studies conducted with it in Vocational Education and Training (MBO) will be discussed to answer these questions. After a presentation, participants are encouraged to discuss how the five dimensions of authenticity are applicable to the assessments they are working with in their research or what authenticity means in their research context (e.g. higher education, secondary education etc.)

Dr. Jan-Willem Strijbos:

  • Understanding your understanding of my understanding: The many facets of providing and receiving peer feedback
    With the increased application of peer assessment in higher education and the renewed interest in feedback, the element of peer feedback in the context of peer assessment is receiving more attention. In particular the interactive aspects of peer feedback (e.g., sender characteristics on the reception of peer feedback) are at present not well-understood. Also the type and format of peer feedback appears to differ for various recipients (e.g., personal characteristics, like knowledge level, gender and educational level). During this course you will first experience peer feedback (both providing and receiving), and this will be used to discuss what we know and critically reflect on guidelines for implementing peer feedback in a classroom.


The course encloses four contact days, to be held in Utrecht. The first day (led by Dominique Sluijsmans and Cees van der Vleuten) aims at exchanging research topics and includes a conceptual presentation on the purpose of assessment in education and throughout ones career. On the second day (Liesbeth Baartman, Jan van Tartwijk and Erik Driessen) and third day (Judith Gulikers and Jan-Willem Strijbos) the lecturers who are all experts in the field of assessment will address both conceptual and instrumental perspectives on assessment. They will actively engage the participants through interactive discussions and assignments. The fourth and final day of the course is reserved for presentation of the individual essays and peer/expert feedback.

Specific information will be announced several weeks before the course. This information will be presented in the learning environment we will use for this course.


Participants are asked to write an essay and to prepare a presentation on the purpose of assessment. They also have to put forward an argumentation on how they will incorporate the ideas from the course in their future work and/or research. A central question of the assignment is: How does this masterclass contribute to your future work and professional learning?
Each participant defines two statements which they will present on the final meeting to their peers and an expert panel. Based on the quality of the essay, presentation and discussion, a certificate will be handed out.


Each participant selects one article on assessment and presents this to the peers on the first day. This will result in a first body of knowledge on assessment. The literature for the second and third day will be announced in the learning environment several weeks before the start of the course.

Designing authentic assessments (Dr. Judith Gulikers):

  • Gulikers, J. T. M., Bastiaens, Th. J., & Kirschner, P. A. (2004). A five-dimensional framework for authentic assessment. Educational Technology Research & Development, 52, 67-85.
  • Gulikers, J. T. M., Kester, L., Kirschner, P. A., & Bastiaens, Th. J. (2008). The effect of practical experience on perceptions of assessment authenticity, study approach, and learning outcome. Learning and Instruction, 18, 172-186.
  • Gulikers, J. (2007). Authentiek beoordelen in een curriculum [Authentic assesment in a curriculum]. OnderwijsInnovatie, 2, 11-14.
  • Gulikers, J., Bastiaens, Th., & Kirschner, P. (2005). Authentieke toetsing, de beroepspraktijk in het vizier [Authentic assessment, professional practice within sight]. OnderwijsInnovatie, 2, 17-24

Understanding your understanding of my understanding: The many facets of providing and receiving peer feedback (Dr. Jan-Willem Strijbos):

  • Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77, 81-112.
  • Shute, V. (2008). Focus on formative feedback. Review of Educational Research, 78, 153-189.

Dates and locations

January 12, 25, 26, 2011; February 9, 2011. Location for all meetings is Zalencentrum Vredenburg 19 in Utrecht.


The deadline for registration is December 12, 2010.
Before you register, please read our regulations for registration.
To register, please go to our registration form.
The maximum number of participants for this course is 12.