Craig Pearson (1400 words) 1.1 1.2 1.3 2.1 2.2 Explain the types of assessment used in lifelong learning. Explain the use of methods of assessment in lifelong learning. Compare the strengths and limitations of assessment methods to meet individual learner needs. Explain ways to involve the learner in the assessment process. Explain the role of peer and self-assessment in the assessment process.
Assessments are the process of evaluating an individual’s learning. They involve generating and collecting evidence of a learner’s attainment of knowledge and skills and judging that evidence against defined standards. Formative Assessments (quizzes and practical tests) are used to strengthen memory recall by practice and to promote confidence in one’s knowledge. In the learning process we are trying to transfer knowledge and skills to a persons’ memory so that they become competent to perform a task. During that process people might fail to pay attention, fail to grasp everything taught or simply forget things even though they once knew it. Most learning environments use simple Formative questions as they can focus the leaner’s attention towards the importance of key topics. Sometimes results are stored in order to track how instruction might be improved. Michael Scriven is credited with first using the term “formative” (Scriven 1967) to describe evaluation that is intended to assess the effectiveness of new curricula. Tests and exams designed to measure knowledge, skills, and abilities are known as Summative Assessments. These are typically used to certify people have a certain level of knowledge, skills, and/or ability. Often these certifications grant people access to something previously not permitted such as a license to drive or be promoted within an organization or have physical access to dangerous materials. Because of this Summative Assessments are typically Higher Stakes assessments. Typically Summative Assessments have “Pass” and “Fail” associated with them which distinguish them from Formative which don’t. There are two basic types of Summative Assessments: Where a Participant’s pass is determined by their positioning within a group of test takers. The Participants’ results are compared to the others in the group after everyone has completed the assessment. This is often used in environments where the number of
places in the next course or job role is limited and so only a certain number of people can pass. A Norm Referenced test will tease out the best people within the group that took that test but the quality of competence passing will vary from one sitting of the test to the next. When the criterion for passing a test has been predetermined it is known as a Criterion Reference Assessment. The most used Criterion Reference Assessment on the planet is the driving test. The criteria for passing has been determined prior to the test and you normally know whether you have passed or failed immediately. Advantages and disadvantages of different assessment methods According to Race (1998) the most important thing teachers do for their students is assess their work. There are many different forms of assessment used in higher education, and below the advantages and disadvantages of a just a few are highlighted;
Time-efficient Cost-effective Relatively easy to achieve equality of opportunity Less plagiarism Staff are familiar with exams Encourages students to learn certain subject matter
Does not increase students' desire to learn Students play the game of guessing the agenda,so that learning can be unfocused Does not help the theory/practice gap Scripts are usually marked in a rush Staff marking the scripts become bored! Does not measure teamwork, leadership, creativity
Allows for student individuality Allows for demonstration of understanding of topic area
Can cause lack of equality as some...