Empowerment and assessment: a dichotomy?

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Massey, D & Osborne, D 2004, 'Empowerment and assessment: a dichotomy?', Nurse Education Today, vol. 24, pp. 357-362.

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Institutions of higher education are sites where the rhetoric of learning increasingly collides with the diverse needs of both learners and educators.Demands on tertiary institutions from the workplace, students themselves and the increasing demand for skilled graduates in the face of diminishing resources strongly suggest that intelligent and creative approaches to learning play a pivotal role in the success of higher education. Throughout tertiary education the subject of assessment is central to the complex processes involved in student learning.Therefore, it is important that nursing academics and practitioners involved in assessing student learning develop insight and awareness of the theories and philosophies that underpin different assessment strategies. This will inform teaching and learning practice to the benefit of all stakeholders. This paper examines issues of assessment in higher education; it will locate and deconstruct some principles underpinning traditional and innovative methods associated with assessment and suggest that creative approaches that embrace adult learning principles will empower students and ultimately facilitate more effective learning.

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