Universiteit Leiden

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Intermediate assessment in different ways

In higher education intermediate assessment is used in different ways. In her PhD research Indira Day (ICLON) shows that lecturers should be able to continue to have the freedom to use various test forms, because not one type of test is optimal. Defence on June 28, 2018.

Intermediate assessement is defined as 'all forms of testing that students complete during the course'. There is already a lot of evidence that intermediate assessment works to promote student performance. However, little is known about whether certain features of intermediate assessment (such as type, calculation, and feedback) can affect performance.

In addition to the influence of test characteristics, this study looked at the perceptions of teachers and students about intermediate assessment. All teachers and students are confronted with intermediate assessment in their educational practice. It is therefore important to investigate how they think about the advantages and disadvantages of intermediate assessment.

Three types of research were conducted to obtain the results: a literature review, interviews with teachers and students, and a questionnaire survey.


Not one optimal way of intermediate assessment exists, but there are different forms of the four test characteristics: feedback, obligation, reward, assessor. All these characteristics have a positive influence on grades.

Teachers and students generally have a positive view of intermediate assessment, but have different reasons for this. Students want to use the test to pass their exam, while teachers want to use the test to be able to test something different than the exam. Teachers mainly use intermediate assessment with the aim of supporting students in their learning process. They would often want to go further if they were not stopped by practical issues such as work pressure. Furthermore, the graduation mark for students appears to be the strongest predictor for their grades in the first year, regardless of the intermediate assessment form.

The research results show that both teachers and students have a positive view of intermediate assessment.

Picture: John Birdsall / John Birdsall Education / John Birdsall Social Issues Photo Library / Press Association Images / Universal Images Group

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