Chapter 10: Measuring Learning

This chapter investigates how learning is measured. This is something that is sometimes discussed, depending on one’s perspective, as a question of science, politics or educational fashion. It begins by examining the first modern forms of measurement: tests of intelligence and knowledge, typical of the era of didactic pedagogy. In the third quarter of the twentieth century, a movement to measure ‘standards’ emerges that begins to challenge older ideas about innate intelligence and the priority of memory work. In this time, the fields of educational evaluation and research became well established as integral aspects of education. Most recently, new media for accessing and creating knowledge have opened possibilities for ‘synergistic feedback’ in learning environments, which give learners on-the-fly responses that support their learning and give teachers detailed information about learner needs and progress.