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Sufficiency and authenticity What is sufficiency? Sufficiency of assessment can mean slightly different things, depending on context. When a teacher/trainer is using portfolio-based assessment, sufficiency refers to the amount of material or evidence required to demonstrate unequivocally that a particular learning outcome or criteria have been met. This may involve using a number of different types of evidence (written statements, witness testimonies, written assignments or video evidence). In a module or programme of study where a range of assessment methods are used (such as in the case study above), sufficiency refers to the amount of assessment that learners have to undergo.

Perhaps I thought that they were more confident than they really are? Just as the distinction between formative assessment and continuous assessment is sometimes not clear, so the distinction between formative assessment and summative assessment needs to be carefully maintained. If summative assessment is carried out through collecting smaller pieces of coursework, or through the gradual completion of units which are built up within a portfolio of evidence, surely it follows that this continuous summative assessment can simultaneously act as formative assessment?

In her learning journal, Jenny's account of explaining how the formative assessment process would work can be seen as the first stage in this process: she encouraged her learners to think about why they were completing the assignment, and how they ± and she ± would be able to evaluate and act upon the results. This evaluation will be communicated through feedback, both written and oral (feedback is dealt with in more detail in Chapter 6). As well as completing their assessment, Jenny wanted her learners to think about both the process and the results of that assessment.

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