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ERIC Number: EJ1093474
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0260-2938
Criterion-Referenced and Norm-Referenced Assessments: Compatibility and Complementarity
Lok, Beatrice; McNaught, Carmel; Young, Kenneth
Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, v41 n3 p450-465 2016
The tension between criterion-referenced and norm-referenced assessment is examined in the context of curriculum planning and assessment in outcomes-based approaches to higher education. This paper argues the importance of a criterion-referenced assessment approach once an outcomes-based approach has been adopted. It further discusses the implementation of criterion-referenced assessment, considering to what extent the criteria and standards adopted are implicitly norm referenced. It introduces a compatible interpretation of criterion-referenced and norm-referenced assessments in higher education, and illustrates how their combined use can avoid grade inflation and also provide useful information to educators, employers and learners. Instead of seeing criterion referencing and norm referencing as a dichotomy, assessment in higher education benefits from their synthesis through a feedback loop that emphasises alignment between learning and assessment; such feedback and alignment are essential features of quality assurance and enhancement.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A