Assessment to Improve Learning: Principles, Practices and Proof

Assessment to Improve Learning: Principles, Practices and Proof

The New Zealand Assessment Institute (NZAI) is delighted to provide online access to our new publications, Assessment to Improve Learning: Principles, Practices and Proof, and its associated Companion Guide

NZAI has been concerned to find ways to support educators to be able to evaluate the extent to which their assessment practices do actually support teaching and learning. Despite the wealth of material about assessment on sites such as Assessment Online TKI, we believe that assessment still fails to provide the basis for powerful teaching and learning that it should. Many educators struggle to feel confident in their knowledge and practice of sound assessment. Too many feel that they either under-assess or over-assess and that in the end it does not help their improvement efforts as they might have expected.

Assessment to Improve Learning: Principles, Practices and Proof (Assessment PPP) is intended to provide a simple overview of accepted principles of assessment that support learning, with illustrations of the practices that support those principles and the proofs that the practices are working.  Using these, educators can check their own practice against those principles and their practical applications, and thereby gain confidence that they are ‘doing it right’ or can see a clear path to improvement.

The accompanying Companion Guide provides, for all the different groups of users of assessment information, suggestions on using the guide to reflect on and evaluate current assessment practice.

Download the Assessment PPP here                           Download the Companion Guide here

We have been pondering the development of our assessment principles and have discovered, in retrospect, that we were guided by an implicit set of ‘metaprinciples’ against which we evaluated them. 

You can read about the ‘metaprinciples’ here.


A bank of links and resources to support the Assessment PPP and the Companion Guide will be available soon.

We are hoping that you will find that these resources merit sharing widely with your staff and that they might indeed provide a focus for staff reflection and evaluation of assessment practice.

We have sent paper copies of the booklets to all schools/kura in Aotearoa New Zealand, in the hope that you all, including Māori-medium kura, will find it useful. We are, however, also intending to produce a similar document later this year to provide guidance around aromatawai for all those who work in Māori-medium education.

We would be pleased to receive any feedback you might like to provide, at