Practical Applications of Learning-Oriented Assessment (LOA) in the UAE

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Peter Davidson, Zayed University
Christine Coombe

Document Type

Book Chapter

Source of Publication

English Language Teaching: Theory, Research and Pedagogy

Publication Date



While assessment serves many different purposes, traditionally the main aim of assessment has been to measure students’ performance in order to make a judgement about placement, progress, achievement, or proficiency. More recently, however, examination boards, test writers, and teachers have begun to explore ways in which testing can also be used to facilitate learning. In a Learning-Oriented Assessment (LOA) approach, all assessment, both formal and informal, contributes to learning, and assessment is aligned with the curriculum. As noted by Cambridge Assessment English (n.d.), LOA emphasizes that all levels of assessment, (macro and micro) should positively impact on both the effectiveness of learning and the evaluation of learning outcomes. But what does this mean for the classroom teacher, and how does LOA impact on the classroom? The purpose of this chapter is to discuss how assessment can be constructed so as to maximize opportunities for meaningful student learning in the classroom and become an integral part of the learning process. We begin by examining the importance of ‘assessment for learning’ in order to better understand how it laid the foundation for LOA. After defining LOA, we turn to the main focus of this chapter, which is how to implement LOA in the classroom. We outline what teachers in the UAE can do within an LOA framework before, during, and after an assessment, in order to facilitate learning. The final sections of this chapter address some of the criticisms that have been made against LOA, and outline the implications of taking an LOA approach. Particular emphasis is paid to why we recommend that LOA be used in federal government tertiary-level institutions in the UAE.



Springer Nature

First Page


Last Page





Learning-oriented assessment, LOA, Classroom assessment

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access