1 - What is the purpose of the Diploma in Theory and Practice of Formative Assessment ?

This TETEC Formative Assessment Diploma qualification has been SCQF credit rated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is intended to become a necessary requirement for all pre-service and in-service teachers working in all teaching and learning phases from primary education to those teaching in Higher Education Institutions in KSA and across the MENA region. The purpose of the qualification is develop an understanding for teachers of how formative teaching, learning and assessment can enrich and make more effective normal day-to-day teaching and learning situations.


2 - What is Formative Assessment ?

Formative assessment is recognised internationally as an integral aspect of an effective teaching and learning cycle across all phases of the education system [Perrenoud 1991, 1998; Popham 2006, 2008; Coffey et al 2011; Boyle & Charles 2010, 2011, 2013; Allal & Lopez 2005; Bennett 2011; Bradbury 2011; Gipps 1994; Heritage 2011; Nystrand 1997; Sadler 1989].

Formative assessment takes place day by day and enables the teacher and the pupil to adapt their respective actions to achieve effective solutions of learning situations. How does this happen? Formative assessment through its structural philosophy of evidence elicitation, analysis and action supplies the strategies to make teaching effective and learning more deep and sustained [Boyle & Charles 2013 p.2]. Formative assessment is much more embedded within pedagogy than the simplistic, commonly used expression of ‘closing the gap’ in standards-based measurement. Formative assessment has to be theorised, understood and practised within the perspective of situated teaching and learning for its full beneficial cultural and social effects on the learner as individual to be realised. Formative assessment is at the core of the philosophy of effective teaching and learning and is central to pedagogical practice in effective classrooms.

What is assessment in the classroom? Teacher assessment is criterion-referenced: pupils are assessed in relation to a criterion [learning objective or concept] and not in relation to their peers [because we all grow, develop and learn at different pace]. The teacher can then share person-specific evidence [assessment information] and the responsibility for the learning progression with the pupil through a rich ‘feedback’ process which enables each individual to address their unique learning needs [Boyle & Charles 2013,p 4].

Development of learning depends on many inter-related factors. An assessment that optimises one or more of these factors is formative. ‘Anything that influences the working conditions, the meaning of the [learning] activity or the pupil’s self-image is just as important as the material and cognitive aspects of the teaching situation’ [Perrenoud 1991, p 80]. For example, there are many ways to support a pupil to progress in his/her learning. These include explaining a concept in more detail or in another style, or setting a different task for the concept. This new task may be more motivating for the pupil or better matched to his/her current level of understanding of the concept. The pupil may need reassurance or a boost to his/her confidence or to be located in an alternative social learning environment or relationship.

Teaching, learning and assessment are inter-related. Assessment should be integrated into teaching and learning activities [see references above]. The assessment activity should arise from what is going on in the pupils’ current learning activity; an assessment task should build upon the pupil’s previous experience. Classroom teacher assessment is not built upon a traditional testing model. Teacher [formative] assessment is continuous and classroom teaching and learning life goes on as usual while the information [evidence] gained from teacher assessment enables planning for learning to be modified to the specific identified needs.

Formative assessment is constant analysis by the teacher, in dialogue with the pupil, of a connected moving picture [of complex pupil learning journeys and progress].: If the action taken by teacher and learner on the basis of the assessment information is effective, the learner has progressed.


3 - Who are The Qualification for ?

The Formative Assessment Certificate is intended to be required qualification for all professionals who are involved in teaching and learning activity in schools, colleges and universities.

The stakeholders for the Certificate include all pre-service and in-service teachers, their pedagogical and subject trainers, school principals and education policy makers, Higher Education pedagogical institutions and their faculty.


4 - What are The Core Principles in The Design of The Qualification ?

This qualification supply pre-service trainees and in-service teachers/lecturers with a sound grounding in the basics of identifying, defining and using the strategies, techniques and methods of formative assessment. Formative assessment is a rich source of learning information about the pupil. Assessment is not formative if it is only intermittent. Learners develop all the time, not just at the end of a unit of work, at the end of a semester or a year as measured by summative assessment. Formative assessment is a continuous iterative process which to be carried out effectively, requires understanding of its principles and techniques by the teacher.


5 - What is The Structure of The Qualification ?

There are three Modules in the Diploma in Formative Assessment qualification [SCQF credit rated by SQA]. The Modules have to be completed successfully for the candidate to gain the Diploma level.

These Modules comprises 27 units of work. The recommended completion time for each Module is 9-12 weeks.


6 - What does The Certificate Programme Include ?

The Diploma in Theory and Practice of Formative Assessment certificate has Three Modules.

These modules have their own core themes which incorporates nine learning outcomes. The candidate has nine opportunities throughout the each Module to evidence understanding of the Module theme through supplying evidence against those learning outcomes. A successful candidate will provide the required evidence as stated in the Assessment evidence sections of each Module.

The three Modules develop the candidate’s depth of understanding of formative assessment and its relationship to teaching and learning. The candidate while working through these Modules develops the principles and purposes of assessment, the key features of formative assessment and formative assessment and theories of learning. Successful completion of these three Modules will gain the candidate the Diploma Certificate.


7 - Accessibility of The Certificate

The Modules and their Units can be worked through either in small/large group [workshop style] training sessions or individually by the candidate accessing either the programme mentor or using a dedicated computer programme. Across the Modules, there are 9 discrete sessions, each of approximately 50-60 minutes duration.


8 - Diploma Certificate : Programme Description

This Diploma Certificate consists of three modules which comprises 27 units of work. The recommended completion time for each Module is 9-12 weeks.


Description and Learning Outcomes of the Diploma Certificate :

Module 1 : The Principles and Purposes of Assessment

Learning Outcome 1: Demonstrate a critical understanding of what makes for good assessment and the relationship between teaching, learning and assessment .

Session : 1.1 Understanding of what is meant by the term ‘assessment’ in its broadest sense is demonstrated .
Session : 1.2 Features of good assessment are critically evaluated .
Session : 1.3 The complex relationship between teaching, learning and assessment is explored .


Learning Outcome 2: Analyse The principles and purposes of assessment .

Session : 2.1 Detailed knowledge of the key principles of assessment, validity, reliability, manageability and impact is demonstrated .
Session : 2.2 The different purposes for assessment and the potential for conflict between different purposes are explored .
Session : 2.3 The difference between summative and formative assessment and the relationship between the two are analysed .


Learning Outcome 3: Evaluate the main theories, principles and concepts of formative assessment .

Session : 3.1 Detailed knowledge and understanding of definitions of formative assessment is demonstrated .
Session : 3.2 The key principles and features of formative assessment are evaluated .
Session : 3.3 The impact of formative assessment on learning is recognised and considered .


Module 2 : The Key Features of Formative Assessment

Learning Outcome 1: Demonstrate a critical understanding, and evaluate the impact, of key formative assessment techniques .

Session : 1.1 Understanding of the role of questioning in formative assessment is demonstrated .
Session : 1.2 The impact of feedback and feed forward in formative assessment is explored .
Session : 1.3 The importance of planning adjustment in formative assessment is evaluated .


Learning Outcome 2: Consider and evaluate the role of learning outcomes/intentions, success criteria and self- and peer-assessment, and their impact on students .

Session : 2.1 Appreciation of the role of learning outcomes/intentions and success criteria in formative assessment is demonstrated .
Session : 2.2 The role of self- and peer-assessment in formative assessment is explored .
Session : 2.3 The importance of considering the impact of formative assessment on students learning is critically reviewed .


Learning Outcome 3: Plan, execute and evaluate specific classroom interventions using formative assessment techniques .

Session : 3.1 Some relevant formative assessment techniques are identified and an appropriate intervention is planned as the basis of a small-scale investigation .
Session : 3.2 The chosen techniques are justified with reference to relevant theoretical perspectives .
Session : 3.3 The intervention is evaluated, with reference to the theories, concepts and principles of formative assessment .


Module 3 : Formative Assessment and Theories of Learning

Learning Outcome 1: Demonstrate a critical understanding of theories of learning and the development of a learning culture .

Session : 1.1 Theories of learning and their relationship with formative assessment are considered and compared .
Session : 1.2 The features of an ‘optimal learning environment’ and how it can be developed within schools are examined .
Session : 1.3 Different approaches to developing learning about learning and an atmosphere of co-learning are evaluated .


Learning Outcome 2: Demonstrate an appreciation of the barriers to implementing formative assessment practices / the development of a learning culture within a school or college and apply to specific context .

Session : 2.1 The issues with, and barriers to, implementing formative assessment are identified and considered .
Session : 2.2 Ways of recognising and evaluating formative assessment practice within a context are examined .
Session : 2.3 Understanding of the barriers to implementing formative assessment are applied to a specific context .


Learning Outcome 3: Identify a specific issue related to developing a learning culture within a context and plan strategies to address this issue, including working with other staff .

Session : 3.1 An issue linked to formative assessment/the development of a learning culture, is identified eg a barrier to implementing a particular approach .
Session : 3.2 A strategy to effect a change in approach/ propose a new initiative involving other staff, with reference to appropriate theories, concepts and principles is developed .
Session : 3.3 The strategy is implemented and critically evaluated, with reference to relevant literature .


SCQF SCORECARD COMPONENT GRID (repeated for 3 modules)

Component title (unit/module):  Module 1: The principles and purposes of assessment

Component Breakdown

(if relevant) eg topics/sections from the component

Formal input

(eg contact time with tutor, acquisition of knowledge/ understanding )

(9 hrs)

Additional Activities

(eg developing practice, reflection, research/study time)

(27 hrs)


(eg planning, completion of assessment tasks)

(27 hrs)

Total time

(add sections as required)

9 hours

9 hours teaching by tutor (9 sessions x 60 minutes) .

27 hours

3 hours per teaching session of self-directed learning, including reading, making notes and completing Learning Logs .

24 hours

24 hours for planning, reading, drafting, reviewing and finalizing a formal written assignment .

60 hours

Total hours




60 hours


Credit value