In everyday life we all make judgements about many things. These may be simple things like which clothes to wear or which car parking space to use when we arrive at work. Assessment in the design and technology field also involves making judgements, and as such is a fundamental part of the teaching and learning process. Education has learning at its core and uses assessment as a measure to determine if, and to what extent, learning has taken place (Vartuli; 2005).
The aim of this chapter is to explore the foundation and principles of assessment in the design and technology context.
In doing so, it will particularly debate assessment issues relating to the following:
(i) the processes and purpose of assessment,
(ii) why assessment is made and when and how it should be carried out,
(iii) The particular types of assessment used in design and technology to assess pupils’ skills, knowledge and understanding learning.
(iv) formative versus summative assessment
(v) holistic versus atomistic assessment methods
(vi) knowledge / understanding versus background / context
One of the problems faced when assessing work in the design and technology field is how assessment principles and practices relate to the subject as a whole. Implementing universal principles of assessment within the subject, in its general sense, may be difficult because of the diversity of subjects and technological competences which make up the design and technology field i.e. textile technology, resistive materials, food technology, and systems and control. For example, despite the same level descriptors being used to assess pupils’ attainment in each of the design and technology subject areas it is seems an impractical task to use the same assessment criteria to compare some skills in making a sponge cake in food technology with products manufactured using the latest Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) equipment. By exploring some these assessment issues in debate format it is anticipated that by the end of this chapter readers will be able to further their understanding of some of the issues surrounding the complexities of assessment within the design and technology field.
|Title of host publication||Debates in Design and Technology|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Publication status||Published - May 2013|
|Name||Debates in Subject Teaching|