An assessment innovation as flywheel for changing teaching and learning

Judith T.M. Gulikers*, Piety Runhaar, Martin Mulder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This contribution shows an example of how an assessment innovation can serve as a flywheel for changing teaching and learning. This article first explains the development of an authentic, competence-based performance assessment in pre-vocational secondary education (pre-VET). Using these assessments in pre-VET, that is preparatory to VET, is important for motivating students for a future in VET. Second, in an action research 34 teacher teams of 11 pre-VET institutions implement the new assessment, supported by researchers and teacher coaches, to illuminate how it motivates students, prepares them for VET, and influences teaching and learning. Data from 76 teachers, 68 students, 24 teacher coaches and 3 researchers showed how implementing these assessments raised questions about changing educational content and pedagogy to fit a competence-based approach. Increasing teachers’ expectations of students, changing student-teacher interaction patterns, and developing teachers’ practical understanding of competencies and how they can be observed and discussed in assessments are some of the intriguing challenges that require further support for proper implementation of competence-based assessments and developing an aligned competence-based teaching and learning process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-231
JournalJournal of Vocational Education and Training
Issue number2
Early online date27 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • Assessment innovation
  • competence-based assessment
  • competence-based teaching
  • pedagogy
  • teacher professional development

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