A holistic and integrative approach to assessment for learning

A.A. Vinke, C.C.M. Hummels

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


    Today's knowledge and information era faces graduates with complex, multi-layered issues in their professional lives. This requires them to be knowledge-managers rather than knowledge-owners. In order to perform in such a context graduates need to become autonomous, flexible and lifelong learners. The Department of Industrial Design at Eindhoven University of Technology has adopted a constructivist, holistic, and student-centred approach in order to meet with these new demands. We have abandoned the notion of teaching a specific body of knowledge and skills to all students, the practice of norm-referenced grading, and separately assessing knowledge and skills. Instead, we provide a common frame for our students' development as a designer: the department's vision on industrial design, a competence and assessment framework, and a variety of curricular learning activities students need to choose from in order to compose their own individual programme for their individual development as a designer.

    The half-yearly assessment is a shared responsibility between students and staff. By means of their interactive portfolio students demonstrate their growth and overall development, underpinned with a careful selection of design and learning outcomes, their reflections and experts' written feedback. The assessor determines and gives feedback on the developmental stage achieved. As such, students' creation of the portfolio and the assessment become a part of their learning experience.

    In the paper we explain the rationale behind our authentic learning context and assessment, discuss problems encountered, and review our current initiative to optimise our assessment: an augmented frame of reference to illustrate the five developmental stages.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the conference on assessment in higher education, 6 July 2011, Carlisle, UK
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    EventConference on assessment in higher education - Northumbria University, Carlisle, United Kingdom
    Duration: 6 Jul 20116 Jul 2011


    ConferenceConference on assessment in higher education
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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