Analytic Quality Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-21, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 22 September, 2021 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2021.


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Diagnostic assessment

core definition

Diagnostic assessment is an evaluation of learning potential.

explanatory context


analytical review

The UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) (2000) states:

diagnostic assessment provides an indicator of a learnerís aptitude and preparedness for a programme of study and identifies possible learning problems.

This has changed in the Glossary (QAA, undated) to:

Evaluation of how well a learner is prepared for a given programme or unit of study within it, identifying any strengths, gaps in knowledge, or shortfall in necessary understanding and skills.

associated issues

related areas

See also

assessment [of quality]

assessment of student learning

assessment of teaching

formative assessment

summative assessment


Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), 2000, Code of practice for the assurance of academic quality and standards in higher education, Section 6: Assessment of students, May 2000, available at, accessed 1 February 2005, not available 18 July 2012.

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), undated, Glossary, available at, accessed 7 January 2017, not available 20 June 2019.

copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2021

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