Towards a new balance in functions of assessment: shifting from formative and summative to a continuum of stakes

A growing number of higher education programmes has implemented programmatic assessment. Programmatic assessment is an assessment concept in which the formative and summative function of assessment is intertwined. Although there is consensus about the theoretical principles of programmatic assessment, programmes make various specific design choices, fitting with their own context.


With this project we want to provide insight into the considerations that play a role in making those design choices within the principles of programmatic assessment and how they fit with the programme-specific context in which programmatic assessment is implemented.


This project results in:

  • An overview of possible design choices and context-specific educational characteristics within the 12 principles of programmatic assessment.
    •  Factsheet: 11 Design choices in Programmatic Assessment
  • Six rich case descriptions in which design choices, underlying considerations and arguments for the design choices are mapped out.
  • A framework with which the effects of different design choices can be investigated.


01 September 2022 - 30 August 2023


First, 30 available portraits of programmes that have implemented programmatic assessment will be qualitatively analysed for their design choices and programme specific characteristics. Subsequently, in-depth interviews will clarify the underlying considerations and arguments in the design choices made.

HU researchers involved in the research

Related research groups


The results of this project are of interest to teachers and examiners in higher education, educationalists and curriculum designers, examination boards and management teams that are involved in the design of programmatic assessment, programmes that have already implemented programmatic assessment and programs that focus on programmatic assessment as being appropriate to their learning outcomes and curriculum.

Furthermore, research into programmatic assessment is in a stage of development in which the first effect studies can be carried out. This requires insight into design choices/context-specific characteristics, in order to be able to interpret the effects found.

Collaboration with knowledge partners

This project is carried out in collaboration with dr. Tamara van Schilt-Mol, lector of Research Group "Eigentijds beoordelen en beslissen" of the HAN University of Applied Sciences.


Factsheet: 11 Design choices in Programmatic Assessment

Would you like to collaborate or do you have any questions?

Bas Agricola

Bas Agricola

  • Lecturer-researcher
  • Research group: Vocational Education