A1 301

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1.1 Explain the functions of assessment in learning and development

You need to provide evidence in the form of a written statement to say that you understand: The roles of:
* initial assessment in identifying learner needs
* Formative assessment in tracking learner progress
* Summative assessment in assessing learner achievement

Assessment can take place at different stages of Learning and Development and all learners should undergo initial assessment in order to identify the learners starting point for a learning programme based on their learning and support needs. Learning needs can be defined as the skills, knowledge and competence the learner needs to acquire from their learning programme whilst support needs are the additional help the learner may require to allow them to overcome any obstacles which may prevent them achieving the learning programme targets. The initial assessment is the critical first step of the learning cycle; if carried out incorrectly it may result in failure to identify the learning and support needs. This in turn may create a learning programme which does not address these areas. Subsequent assessments would therefore be unlikely to show any benefit of the learning programme to the learner.

Formative assessments help the assessor to monitor the progress the learner is making through the learning programme and to adapt the teaching styles / methods and learning programme to continue to meet the learning and support needs. It is important that the learner sees the formative assessments as a positive as it can allow them to see how they are progressing towards the goals on their learning programme, which can provide motivation for further learning. In order to achieve this positive outlook on formative assessments it is important that when giving feedback the assessor focuses on ways in which the learner can improve rather than being critical.

Summative assessments focus on the learning completed by providing...
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