Self-directed learning oriented assessment: Theory, strategy and impact

Magdalena Mo Ching MOK

Research output: Book/ReportBooks


Assessment has taken the centre stage in the Asia Pacific Region in the last two decades which has witnessed many education reform initiatives. Due to historical as well administrative, technical and statistical reasons in the past, examinations in the Region are generally construed as top-down with little input from the persons assessed and out of their control. That situation does little to enhance learning, which needs ownership by the assessed in order to realize the full potentials of assessment for and as learning. With norm reference as its trademark, the sole purpose of high stake examination is to select the best for the next levels of advancement, be it in education or career. Nevertheless, there is a strong trend within the Region and elsewhere striving to replace the unitary purpose of assessment with a new paradigm entitled the Self-directed Learning Oriented Assessment (SLOA), which holds that assessment should be learning oriented and self-directed. Within the SLOA paradigm, assessment not only has multiple roles in support of learning; it is an integral part of learning. Assessment is to collect evidence of performance and to match the results against preset criteria or standards. The objectives are to evaluate, to inform and to effect learning: assessment of, for and as learning. Modern advancement in assessment design, delivery, statistical models and reporting systems has enabled the assessed to be nearly fully in control of the process of assessment and to self-evaluate against objective criteria. The persons being assessed can, therefore, have full ownership of the assessment. SLOA is a perspective and an assessment design, delivery and reporting that implement the above scenario in assessment. Initial attempts to carry out SLOA in a number of schools in Hong Kong, Macao and Mainland China, albeit still in its initial stage, have amply demonstrated its validity, feasibility and benefits. Copyright © 2009 The Hong Kong Institute of Education.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherThe Hong Kong Institute of Education
Publication statusPublished - 29 Dec 2009


Mok, M. M. C. (2009). Self-directed learning oriented assessment: Theory, strategy and impact. Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Institute of Education.


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