د/ايمان زغلول قاسم

استاذ تكنولوجيا التعليم المشارك بكلية التربية بالزلفي

book B93

Within some of the approaches, the terminology and definitions are inappropriately
used interchangeably; therefore, it is valuable to review and compare the theoretical
underpinnings of DBDM, AfL, and DT. For example, literature on DBDM tends to cite
literature concerning AfL, but not vice versa (e.g., Swan & Mazur, 2011). Moreover, the
discussions in the assessment literature tend to revolve around finding evidence of what
works. As Elwood (2006) pointed out, these discussions do not acknowledge the complexity
of the use of assessment for learning enhancement, and lead to what she calls ―quick fixes‖ (p.
226). Ignoring the differences in the theoretical underpinnings has led to theoretical ambiguity
in the assessment literature, as shown by studies that use the terminology and definitions
interchangeably. Bennett (2011) also stressed this ambiguity in the use of definitions:
―Definition is important because if we can‘t clearly define an innovation, we can‘t
meaningfully document its effectiveness‖ (p. 8). To move the field of educational assessment
forward, clarity on the theoretical underpinnings is necessary. More importantly, the relation
between these underpinnings and the prescriptions on why, how, and when assessment should
be used by learners, teachers, and schools to enhance learning, is needed. Currently, a mix of
these approaches is implemented in educational practice. As a result, it is not feasible to study
the effectiveness of each approach separately. It is not possible to study which underlying
mechanisms contribute to student learning and to what extent. For example, in British
Columbia, Canada, DBDM and AfL are the pillars of the programme of the Ministry of
Education (2002). However, while DBDM focuses on what has to be learned, AfL and DT
seem to emphasise how students learn what has to be learned (best), and the quality of the
learning process (Stobart, 2008). Nevertheless, all three approaches claim the importance of
using feedback for learning enhancement, but the procedures advised regarding the provision
of feedback differ substantially.
It is important to recognise the fundamental differences amongst these approaches as
an initial exploration of what it might mean to blend these approaches in a meaningful way.
With this comparative theoretical study, we aim to contribute to a more coherent research
agenda within the field of the effectiveness of educational assessment programmes based on
these approaches. Note that we do not intend to make any claims about which assessment
approach is most effective for improving student learning.
The following questions guide the comparison presented in this study:
1. What are the similarities and differences in the theoretical underpinnings of DBDM, AfL,
and DT?
2. What are the consequences of these similarities and differences for implementing DBDM,
AfL, and DT in educational practice?

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