Overview About Assessment

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Introduction
This piece of coursework provides an overview about assessment: explores the various types of assessment. It summarises the importance of recording assessment documents within an organisation. It also evaluates a range of initial assessment methods presented in the classroom task. It also includes copies of the materials used for the session in Appendix A ; peer and tutor evaluation in Appendix B.

Assessment methods
Assessment has a very important role in the education process: it affects the students’ approach to learning and determines much of the work students undertake. Assessment is about identifying strengths and weaknesses however it is much more than simply giving marks and grades. The assessment process involves making a judgement: there is a then an inevitable possibility of subjectivity by the teacher; they need to aim for an assessment which is as objective and fair as possible. (http://www.brookes.ac.uk) There are two different types of assessment and both of them include several techniques. The two types are: formative and summative assessment. Formative assessment (assessment for learning) happens during the course, teachers usually use them to improve learning and the nature of formative assessment is diagnostic. Teachers can use formative assessment to improve their teaching methods; students can use them to gain an idea of their success. Summative assessment (assessment of learning) happens usually at the end of the course, provides a direct link to the outcomes of the course and most of the time a grade is given. Future employers can use summative assessments for job selection; another use of them is curriculum reviews. Students can use summative assessments to select further courses and examining/validating bodies can use them for award of grades and diplomas ( City of Westminster College) (Reece and Walker, 2007) There are various techniques that a teacher can use to assess the students, some techniques are solely used as summative assessment, some of them used as formative assessment; however several methods can be used both with summative and formative assessment as well. Formative assessment methods are: initial assessment, ILPs, Q&A, essays, practical tests etc. Summative assessment techniques are: exams, exhibitions, portfolios, projects, practical tests, Q&A etc. Teachers need to select their methods of assessment very carefully: the timing is crucial and also they need to be aware of all the advantages and disadvantages of each method. Some examples are explained in the table below:

Method| Formative/Summative| When?| Advantages| Disadvantages| Initial assessment| Formative| Start of year/course| Good starting point, provides information about the students| Can label students, may not represent timely| Q&A| Formative/Summative| Daily| Immediate direct feedback| Some students may feel uncomfortable to talk in front of everyone| Assignments| Formative/Summative| Per unit| Students digesting information and doing further research| Time consuming| Examinations| Summative| End of course/Year| Convenient, tests the individual| Stress, circumstances can have an impact on the outcome| Exhibitions| Summative| End of course| Display work, organising skills, fun| Time and planning required|

Assessment methods fall into categories other than formative or summative: they can be norm-referenced or criterion-referenced. Norm reference assessments are comparing the students to each other; they usually receive a grade or percentage; shows the competition between the students and also sets the student amongst a norm or average. It works with large numbers of students. For example: GCSEs Criterion-referenced assessment measures how well a student learned a specific knowledge or skill against a set of competencies. It is usually pass or fail, can do or cannot do. An example of criterion-referenced assessment is a driving test or this essay itself....
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