Kelvin Tan

Kelvin Tan

National Institute of Education Curriculum,
Training & Learning
Nanyang Technological University

Kelvin Tan is Associate (Practice) Professor of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the National Institute of Education of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University. He was trained as a lawyer, but has been called to be a teacher. His teaching, research and advisory areas revolve around formative assessment for learning, teacher reflection, phenomenography/variation theory, and critical perspectives of assessment. Most of his work is increasingly devoted to developing and supporting school and middle leaders in the areas of assessment leadership for learning and reform, for whom he seeks to be exemplary in theory, and teaching.


  1. Contribution from International perspectives
    (a) Experience in presenting papers/symposia at international conferences, EARLI 2004, 2013, NZARE 2011 etc.

    (b) Contribution to international publications, e.g. chapter in book on assessment reform in different countries (Tan, 2011).
  2. Contribution from Singaporean perspective(s)
    (a) I am the only faculty in NIE that teaches assessment to school and middle leaders in Singapore.
    (b) I have published several papers on assessment for learning in Singapore.

I devote 20% of my time to consulting in schools on a wide variety of assessment for learning issues. This enables me a direct role and vantage point in developing AfL and classroom assessment best practices in Singapore.



Transforming Schools and Systems Using Assessment for Learning


Three recurring emphases in the literature on formative assessment are the design of formative assessment instruments, the provision of quality feedback and the establishment of clear standards of achievement. Much has been written on how each of these is (separately) important in designing and using assessment for learning. But there is considerably less attention on how these emphases should be understood and used together as a set of integrated practices. In this presentation, I propose a framework for formative assessment wherein assessment standards (vertical axis), task design (horizontal axis) and feedback practices (incline) form a ‘triangle of practices’ that delimits the requisite for leaners to enhance their imminent understanding and performance. Implications for formative assessment to enhance imminent learning within this frame, extend learning beyond the triangulated frame, are then identified and discussed.


National Institute of Education, Singapore

Tan, K. H. K. (2013). A Framework for Assessment for Learning: Implications for Feedback Practices within and beyond the Gap. ISRN Education, 1 – 6.

Tan, K.H.K. (2012). How teachers understand and use power in alternative assessment. Education Research International, 2012, 1 – 11.

Tan, K.H.K. (2011). Assessment for Learning Reform in Singapore – Quality, Sustainable or Threshold?. In Berry, R., & Adamson, B. (Eds.), Assessment reform in education: policy and practice (pp. 75 – 88). London: Springer.

Tan, K.H.K. (2011). Assessment for learning in Singapore – Unpacking its meanings and identifying some areas for improvement. Educational Research for Policy and Practice, 10(2), 91 -103.


Citation – Please refer to information and materials available on this website, in this way:

Fifth International Symposium on Assessment for Learning (April, 2014).
     Website International Symposium on Classroom Assessment.
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