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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Assessment for Learning

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Coursera


For several decades now, assessment has become an increasingly pressing educational priority. Teacher and school accountability systems have come to be based on analysis of large-scale, standardized summative assessments. As a consequence, assessment now dominates most conversations about reform, particularly as a measure of teacher and school accountability for learner performance. Behind the often heated and at times ideologically gridlocked debate is a genuine challenge to address gaps in achievement between different demographically identifiable groups of students. There is an urgent need to lift whole communities and cohorts of students out of cycles of underachievement. For better or for worse, testing and public reporting of achievement is seen to be one of the few tools capable of clearly informing public policy makers and communities alike about how their resources are being used to expand the life opportunities for their children. This course is an overview of current debates about testing, and analyses the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of approaches to assessment. The course also focuses on the use of assessment technologies in learning. It will explore recent advances in computer adaptive and diagnostic testing, the use of natural language processing technologies in assessments, and embedded formative assessments in digital and online curricula. Other topics include the use of data mining, learning analytics and artificial intelligence in learning management systems and educational technology platforms. Participants will be required to consider issues of data access, privacy and the challenges raised by ‘big data’ including data persistency and student profiling.

Recommended Background

This course is designed for people interested in the future of education and the "learning society," including people who may wish to join education as a profession, practicing teachers interested in exploring future directions for a vocation that is currently undergoing transformation, and community and workplace leaders who regard their mission to be in part "educative."

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Take this Course for Credit at the University of Illinois

This course has the same content and anticipates the same level of contribution by students in the Assessment for Learning course offered to graduate certificate, masters, and doctoral level students in the Learning Design and Leadership Program in the College of Education at the University of Illinois.

Of course, in the nature of MOOCs many people will just want to view the videos and casually join some of the discussions. Some people say that these limited kinds of participation offer evidence that MOOCs suffer from low retention rates. Far from it – we say that any level of engagement is good engagement.

On the other hand, if you would like to take this course for credit at the University of Illinois, you will find more information about our program here:

And you can apply here:

The Learning Design and Leadership Series of MOOCs

This course is one of a series of eight MOOCs created by Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis for the Learning Design and Leadership program at the University of Illinois. If you find this MOOC helpful, please join us in others!

e-Learning Ecologies: Innovative Approaches to Teaching and Learning for the Digital Age

New Learning: Principles and Patterns of Pedagogy

Assessment for Learning

Learning, Knowledge, and Human Development

Ubiquitous Learning and Instructional Technologies

Negotiating Learner Differences: Towards Productive Diversity in Learning

Literacy Teaching and Learning: Aims, Approaches and Pedagogies

Multimodal Literacies: Communication and Learning in the Era of Digital Media

Taught by

Dr William Cope and Dr Mary Kalantzis


4.8 rating, based on 4 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Assessment for Learning

  • Dania Merary Canales
    great! this kind of content is so helpful for those who really want to improve their skill in the teaching and learning process, I really happy for this new experience that in the future is going to be helping me with everything related to my major in teaching language. there are tools for everything and the fact is completely into the process the student can also to has a review anytime, of course, there are limits that we can respect but if we are into the process the knowledge is going to be awesome.
  • Profile image for Francis Yaquelin Villanueva
    Francis Yaquelin Villanueva
    Coursera Assessment for Learning Review
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    Assessment for Learning
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Coursera
    Your review helps other learners like you discover great courses. Only review the course if you have taken or started taking this course
  • Maryory MArtin
    Excellent! This course is for people who want to greatly improve their skills, feedback their knowledge in the teaching and learning process, it is a new experience to take this course so we learn more about the class
  • Profile image for Bayardito Edeen
    Bayardito Edeen
    The course was good, interesting and fun, it's a pity that to finish it you have to pay some money, but it still helps the students a lot

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