Assessment for learning within engineering

Roger Penlington, Martin Campbell-Wonders

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Mechanical Engineering is a core subject area within the Northumbria Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) which aims to integrate assessment into student learning. Assessment for Learning (AfL) sets out to use assessment to foster student development, using feedback to enable the student to take responsibility for evaluating, judging and improving their own performance. Through balancing formative and summative assessment the learning process is not obstructed by an unhealthy focus on accumulating marks. This paper will discuss the six key conditions which have been identified as contributing to AfL and development of the autonomous learner. These conditions establish the place and purpose of both formative and summative assessment activity to promote complex and authentic learning required to meet the needs of employers and professional bodies. Examples of the use of AfL will be described which illustrate how it may be used to support learning during computer modelling and design activity at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. These examples employ a range of techniques which set out to support learning through formative feedback allowing summative assessment tasks to be rigorously applied. Guidance will also be given as to how the six key conditions for AfL may be applied to other activities suitable for engineering education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference on Innovation, Good Practice and Research in Engineering Education 2006
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Print)9781905788118
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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