By: Kathryn Arnott-Gent
Tutor: Liz Hinks
Submission Date: w/c 16th May 2011
For the purpose of this assignment and to meet all the relevant criteria, I have chosen to focus my assessment tool on the two day foundation training that all volunteers must attend before progressing onto further projects.
This assignment includes a report which will focus on the theories and practice of assessment and also the relevance of learning and communication theories to planning, learning and teaching. It will critically analyse and evaluate my own teaching, together with the assessment and marking tools, which are both included in the appendices. I have also included copies of my group profile, mapping document, lesson plans, resources, student feed back and action plan in the appendices. I shall refer to relevant literature, which relates to assessment and learning theories, within the report to demonstrate my understanding of the subject matter.
Learning Styles – Links to Theory
There are many factors which affect a student’s ability to learn. I teach volunteers who have applied to the Youth Offending Service to work on different projects with young offenders. The learners who attend my courses are from a diverse society, coming from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds, both educationally and socially. They all have one common denominator and that is their genuine interest in the subject matter.
Learning is something that does not automatically happen, regardless of how academic your learner may or may not be. It takes time and all learners will go through various developmental stages. Benjamin Bloom (1956), identified three domains of learning namely, cognitive which looks at thinking skills; affective which looks at feelings and emotional areas and finally psychomotor which focuses on physical skills. These three areas are more commonly know as knowledge, skills and attitude. The theory behind this is that after a specific teaching session the learner should have gained new skills, knowledge and attitudes. Bloom believed that learning was not simply a fact giving process, for example a simple PowerPoint training presentation, but a series of tasks that a learner must go through. He further breaks down the domains, and I shall take the cognitive domain, splitting it into knowledge, analysis, synthesis, hypothesis and evaluation. Each task must be achieved by the learner before they can progress on to the next.
It is difficult to know what teaching methods and activities are best for the group of students you have, particularly if you have never met them before, but it is vital for a tutor to be aware of all the learning styles available and to incorporate as many as possible onto the lesson plan so that the training is inclusive to all. “… it [the lesson plan] should create learning activities which are accessible to all the learners and which do not make any learner feel excluded directly or by implication.” (Wallace 2007, p114).
There are 3 different learning styles, referred to as Visual, Aural and Kinaesthetic (VAK). Most learners will learn by a mixture of these styles, maybe favouring one particular style more than another. It is for this reason that I have used the VAK learning styles system and have included activities such as, jigsaw exercises, role play, peer observation, case study and PowerPoint presentation. Once you are aware of a student’s preference, and you have been able to assess the group you are teaching in terms of learning preferences, you can then become more flexible with the session, reflect upon it and adapt the lesson plan accordingly.
Learners should feel valued and as a teacher it is your duty to ensure that this happens, this can be done by using effective communication methods for...