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Assessment for Learning and Standards: A Norwegian Strategy and Its Challenges

Part of the Methodology of Educational Measurement and Assessment book series (MEMA)


Assessment for learning in low-stakes contexts raises a series of problematic issues related to standards development. This chapter discusses several such issues on the basis of two interrelated data sets on writing as a key competency across the curriculum in Norway: How may standards communicate with teachers across the curriculum? How may standards fare in local learning environments over time? And most importantly: How can a shared rhetorical community among teachers develop over time and produce reliable assessment across local contexts? This chapter uses data sets that are based on a less than usual approach. In both data sets standards were developed in close collaboration with experienced primary-grade teachers, across the country. ICC analyses (time series as well as comparative analysis across contexts) demonstrate that a considerable increase in reliability develops over time, but simultaneously imply a number of remaining challenges and that further refinements will be needed in order to reach satisfactory levels.


  • Assessment for learning
  • Standards development
  • Primary school writing across the curriculum
  • Sustainability

The approach taken in this chapter has been developed within a project group that also includes Kjell Lars Berge, Synnøve Matre, Hildegunn Otnes, Randi Solheim, as well as PhD candidates Sindre Dagsland, Trine Gedde-Dahl and Jannicke O. Bakke.

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Fig. 13.1


  1. 1.

    The domain Use of the written language is not presented or analysed further in this chapter.


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Correspondence to Lars Sigfred Evensen .

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Level Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
Meaning Very low level of mastery within the domain Low level of mastery As to be expected from most students after 4 or 7 years of schooling High level of mastery Very high level of mastery within the domain
DESCRIPTOR for scale used at school year 4 The writer is expected to:
 Use some relevant principles of composition (temporal or thematic sequence, etc.)
 Use an introduction, a main part and an ending
 Create thematic cohesion within the various parts of the text
 Create textual cohesion by connectors (or, but, because, etc.)
DESCRIPTOR for scale used at school year7 The writer is expected to:
 Use a variety of ways of structuring the text
 Structure the text in a purposeful way (e.g., genre)
 Use paragraphs as an organising principle
 Create cohesion by a variety of connectors
  1. The assessment rubric for the domain ‘text organisation’ with descriptors for school years 4 and 7

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Skar, G.B., Thygesen, R., Evensen, L.S. (2017). Assessment for Learning and Standards: A Norwegian Strategy and Its Challenges. In: Blömeke, S., Gustafsson, JE. (eds) Standard Setting in Education. Methodology of Educational Measurement and Assessment. Springer, Cham.

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