« Assessment is the purposeful gathering of data on student learning for an appropriate administrative or pedagogical purpose. Some assessments are diagnostic and/or formative, aimed at tuning adaptive teaching strategies or offering supportive feedback on written assignments. More formal assessment is likely to be periodic perhaps in the form of an examination or a standardized test. Testing can either be norm – referenced (ranking students) or criterion-referenced (assessing against benchmarks). The purposes of assessment vary, but will include feedback on assignments, verifying learning achievements, meeting certification needs, and ‘gate-keeping’ -- managing the progress of individuals through the system. Assessment cannot, therefore, be a politically or morally neutral activity».