Princilples of Assessment Unit 12 Pttls

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Julie Capon Unit 012
Principles of assessment in lifelong learning
The types of assessment a trainer will use in lifelong learning include initial, diagnostic, independent assessment, formative, summative, internal, external, formal and informal assessment. “Assessment is a way to find out if learning has taken place.” Tummons (2007: p5) Gravells (2011:p91), describes the assessment cycle in the following terms; “the initial assessment, assessment planning, assessment activity, assessment decision and feedback and finally, review of progress”. The cycle restarts at the initial assessment with the next subject or unit of the qualification. To ensure that there is consistency and fairness through out the assessment cycle, standards and practice of assessors must be agreed and be appropriate to the subject or course. The initial assessment could include an application form and interview for a place on a course. Tummons (2007:p13) states, “this process of selection is in itself a form of initial diagnostic assessment, that identifies the characteristics, competencies, skills or knowledge of the learner.” Appropriate initial assessment activities can also give an indication of any special assessment requirements. Initial assessments can be a useful tool in identifying if the learner has chosen the right course or programme of study. Initial assessments also ensure that the learner is not attempting a level above their current capabilities. “Diagnostic tests can be used to ascertain information regarding maths, English or ICT.” Gravells (2011:p41). They can also be used to help compile and individual learning plan (ILP) When planning assessments, it is essential that the trainer follows the awarding bodies’ guidelines and that suitable types and methods of assessment are agreed with colleagues and learners. “Assessment planning should be inclusive to all and always be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound,” (SMART) Gravells (2011:p94). Assessment activity includes the methods a trainer will use. Formal assessment methods include projects, tests, assignments, essays and informal methods may include puzzles, gapped handouts, oral questions and discussions. Assessment decisions and feedback require a trainer to make judgements with regard to the success of the leaner in acquiring the information. It also includes agreeing action and target plans and giving constructive feedback as well as allowing feedback from the learner. A review of progress lets the trainer and learner review development of the new learnt skills and knowledge required by the programme or qualification. Review also permits two-way communication, giving the learner an opportunity to discuss their progress or any barriers that may be preventing the learner from completing assessments activities, meeting targets or assignments. The trainer should also use the review to make any necessary adjustments to the assessment criteria or assessment methods. The three types of assessment that are most often used in the lifelong learning sector are initial, formative and summative. Initial assessments should take place prior to the commencement of a particular course, programme or subject. Initial assessments enable the trainer to identify any special requirements or resources necessary for the learner. Formative assessments are used continually throughout the learner’s course or programme and include activities such as puzzles, practical activities, question and answer sessions and assignments. Assessing learning during these activities gives the trainer the opportunity to give constructive feedback. On-going assessments also help the trainer to identify if the needs of individual learners are being met. Formative assessment enables the trainer to identify if the learners are at the appropriate levels required for any summative assessment. Gravells (2011:p95) notes however, “ If you are assessing a programme whereby the activities are...
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