Assessments are the way to find out if learning has actually taken place. Enabling us, as tutors, to see if objectives have been met.
The teaching training cycle begins with an initial assessment of the learners, where we must identify individual needs, such as special needs and learning styles. It is also a starting point to which we can refer.
In my accountancy class I used the Learner Record of Progress (LRP) asking the learners to rate their knowledge of each subject to be covered. Initially this proved not to be particularly accurate, as their self-assessments were different to their actual knowledge. As lessons progressed I discovered that observing their skills through exercises, I could get a more accurate assessment of their learning levels.
Other means of assessment include simulations, role play, written and verbal tasks or a project to assess holistically. The methods chosen will always depend on the subject, the abilities of the learners, the learning objectives, the external requirements and the timescale available
The tutor must continually assess the learners as this will affect how future sessions will be taught and planned, ensuring that the learning is appropriate and benefits the learner. This is known as formative assessment.
It is important to remember the validity and reliability of
assessments. Gravells demonstrates this with VASCR: valid (relevant to the course), authentic (produced solely by the learner), sufficient (all the standards or criteria are covered) and reliable (the results reflect the learners performance and are consistent at the required level). For accredited courses, for example, the learners must...