Assessment Methods 3

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Assessment Methods

Assessment is the means of obtaining information or can be defined as a method of evaluating learning (The starting point for this is the curriculum along with the process of learning and teaching). This helps to know when a concept is understood or not, whether you have re-teach a topic or can move on, allowing teachers, pupils, and parents to make judgments about the pupil progression. (Wilson 2009)

When choosing assessment items, it is useful to focus on the immediate task of assessing student learning in that particular unit of study. The primary goal is to choose a method, which effectively assesses the objectives of the unit. Choice of assessment methods should be aligned with the overall aims of the program, and may include the development of disciplinary skills (such as critical evaluation or problem solving) and support the development of competencies (such as particular communication or team skills.) (Wilson 2009)

When considering assessment methods, it is particularly useful to think first about what qualities or abilities you are seeking to engender in the learners. It is also important not to seem discriminating in any way and supportive to any learners who may have additional needs, giving the best opportunity to demonstrate their ability in respect to the course. There are wide ranges of assessment methods used to measure learning some I will touch briefly, two of these methods would be used for my subject area, which I will elaborate on.

Assessment methods can be:

• Formative – the purpose is to indicate the effectiveness of teaching and learning. Formative assessment and the way it is used, is crucial to effective learning and teaching. It can identify areas of learning forgotten or misunderstood by the pupil, reveal unsuspected knowledge of skills, identify possible barriers and provide information on relevance, pace and interest of teaching for a learning group. • Diagnostic – to indicate strengths and weaknesses of the learner • Summative – for recording and reporting purposes at the end of the curriculum • Informal – on-going for teacher and pupil information • Self and peer assessment

• Verbal/oral- questions are asked in efforts to establish depth of knowledge and are useful assessment tool to complement observation in order to check understanding. • Observation – this is used in practical situation when a learner demonstrates their competence or natural ability while being observed by the assessor. You can also observe group work, encouraging • Simulation – this is similar to observation, but uses a simulated activity rather than a task or natural performance. While this method is not generally supported by National Vocational Qualifications it can be appropriate when using high cost materials or in dangerous situations.

• Project and Assignments

If assessment is to be seen as a valuable tool and respected by learners it must be seen to work effectively. For my subject area I would concentrate on Formative assessment and Initial /Diagnostic assessment.

Formative Assessments

Formative assessment is an interim judgment also known as ‘continuous assessment’ this mean it is ongoing, this give the learner the opportunity to know how they are progressing, giving them the opportunity to improve (Wilson 2009, Gravells 2008). This type of assessment is very motivational as it is seen as a review rather than an assessment, helping learners to progress and maximize their potential. Theorist David Kolb (1984) is used frequently to explain learning processes he describes how individuals learn from their experiences by trial and error. Reflective practice builds upon things that happen (concrete experience) and develop through understanding, like having another go at it, this Kolb suggest is a logical development, which constantly (through repetition) leads to better practice. Formative assessment method helps the student to constructively identify...
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