Planning & Enabling Learning.
Assignment 1- What is the purpose of initial assessment and what kind of methods could be used? Evaluate these methods with reference to the ways they can help in the overall objective of achieving learning goals. How can you ensure learners are kept motivated and working towards these goals? Name:
Date: 21st October 2010
All learners are entitled to undergo a period of initial assessment. Initial assessment is the process of identifying an individual’s learning and support needs to enable the design of an individual learning plan which will provide the structure for their learning. Initial assessment is a critical process because it represents the first stage in the learning cycle.
Failure to accurately identify an individual’s learning needs may result in a learning plan, and a learning programme, which does not address those learning needs. The learner lies at the centre of the learning process and needs to be fully engaged with the initial assessment process. It is important that they feel that it is done with them and not to them. An individual’s learning and support needs are identified from the collection and analysis of a wide range of information. The different types of information which need to be considered during the initial assessment process are shown in figure 1.1 below.
There are a number of Initial assessment methods available. The methods fall into six groups: * Appraisals of written information, such as learners’ application forms, records of achievement, progress files and references. * Individual interviews.
* Formal tests.
* Learner questionnaires.
* Observed group activities.
* Practical vocational activities.
We do not normally use all the methods but chose those which are appropriate to the needs and circumstances of the learner. Typically you should use a combination of methods to assess an individual, in order to gain an accurate, overall picture of their needs. Information collected through one method well may reinforce information collected through a different method. In the some instances it may be contradictory and require the use of additional methods. Application Forms:
Application forms are completed prior to entry onto learning programmes and are often used for selection purposes at that stage. They contain information that can be used to determine the individual’s learning plan and therefore useful in the initial assessment. The application form includes:
* The courses the learner has studied and the qualifications that he or she has achieved. These are helpful in selecting whether a pre vocational, foundation or advance learning programme is appropriate. Eg, GSCE in English may give the learner exemption from part of the key skill requirements. * Employment and work experience, which may include their current work. This information is useful in matching the learner to the appropriate occupational area and in deciding the level of qualifications to target. * Career interests and aspirations. Learners would expected these to be reflected in their learning plans * Previous work based learning. The learning plan should build on previous learning. If it is in a different occupational area there may be parts of that learning that are common and therefore do not need to be repeated. For learners with literacy difficulties, specific disabilities or where English is a second language, asking them to complete an application form may not prove beneficial. Suitable arrangements may need to be made for prospective learners where help can be provided. Interviews
Interviews provide opportunity to discuss and gather information on: * The accuracy of the information contained in the learners’ application form. * Learners’ knowledge and understanding and suitability to undertake particular types of careers and jobs * Expected...