Next-Generation Assessment

Photo of a student writing on a tablet

What is Next-Generation Assessment

The term “assessment” has many meanings, and scholars and practitioners use it differently (Hillen et al, 2021, preface). It is often associated with testing the mastery of content knowledge, which is indeed an essential task for any assessment activity. It is, however, insufficient.

Educators need to rethink the purposes, forms, and nature of assessment. Next-generation assessment is focused on assessment for learning and is a central part of the learning process ( Next-generation assessment focuses on what we assess and why we do it. What do we value and how do we assess it? What is the purpose of assessment?

Why Next-Generation Assessment

In many higher education institutions, traditional school exams are often not representative of what students have learned during the course. In addition, school exams are usually followed by little or no formative feedback for students.

A portfolio assessment, for example, may be a more effective way of showcasing a student’s progress and milestones over the course of the semester. Furthermore, a student has the opportunity to receive feedback from both the instructor and the student community.

Assessment for learning helps instructors identify the areas in which students need additional support and guidance in order to achieve the intended learning outcomes. Moreover, alternative assessment forms may open up for assessing the so-called “soft skills”, such as collaboration and critical thinking, which are difficult to assess by a traditional school exam.

Research challenges

  • How to facilitate assessment when students have access to all tools?
  • How is our assessment related to work life?
  • How do we assess 21st-century skills?




Alexandra Lazareva
Associate Prof.
Faculty of Humanities and Education

John Olav G. Bjørnestad
UiA PULS (Centre for Teaching and Learning)