Assessment to Improve Learning: Principles, Practices and Proof

Assessment to Improve Learning: Principles, Practices and Proof

At NZAI we published our guide to effective assessment – Assessment to Improve Learning: Principles, Practices and Proof, and its associated Companion Guide – at the beginning of 2021. Every school across the country received two copies of the booklets, as did many of the educational agencies. We are delighted to provide online access, available to all, to supplement the physical copies.

Below you can find links to online access to the publications.

A new addition to these resources are two documents which contain ideas on using the Assessment PPP for the secondary sector. One of the documents is an adaptation of part of a keynote presentation at the NZAI National Conference 2021.

Download the Assessment PPP here      Download the Companion Guide here

Download Questions for Secondary Settings here

Download a Secondary Supplement to the ‘Proofs’ here

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.

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.


We are hoping that you will find that the Assessment PPP merits sharing widely with your staff and that it provides a focus for staff reflection and evaluation of assessment practice.

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