Assessment is a tool designed to check a learner’s level of understanding and identify development areas. It is a process to evaluate an individual’s learning as well as a teacher’s performance. Assessment is a mandatory fourth element of the teaching training cycle. It is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that learner achievement and progression is checked throughout the learning process using means of formative assessment such as practical work and group activities, and at the end of the course use summative assessments such as essays and exams. The assessment methods have to be fair, reliable and valid and linked to the planned activity tasks.
It is essential to begin a course with an assessment of learner’s prior knowledge in order for the teacher to ascertain they are teaching at the correct level and to ensure inclusion of all learners needs. This is known as an initial assessment which can take the form of icebreaker activities, group discussions, CV or quizzes to name a few. On the Dimples Workshops courses assessment begins during the first session; we use icebreaker activities to determine prior experience and group discussions to share past experiences and abilities.
Formative assessment allows the learner to develop and improve their knowledge as the course progresses. These formative assessments can take place by using methods such as observation of practical activities and group exercises during sessions, course work, self-assessment, practical assessment, homework, all of which provide feedback on the learners’ performance. With these assessments, teachers can create appropriate lessons and activities for development areas and teachers can inform learners about their current progress and help them to set goals for improvement. All this will lead to an accumulation of the required units and forming a final portfolio of work. In my sessions, virtually all of the learning is performed in practical assessments and feedback...
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