Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment

Topics: Assessment, Educational psychology, Evaluation Pages: 57 (16708 words) Published: March 16, 2013
unit 01

UNDERSTANDING THE principles and practices of assessment


mohammad aziz hasan


1.1 Functions of assessment in learning and development

Assessment can be defined as the systematic gathering of information regarding the knowledge and ability of learners which enables learners to obtain feedback on the quality of their learning and enables teachers or assessors to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching/assessment.

In my point of view assessment is a testing tool by which a teacher or assessor can use to detect the outcomes of teaching, learning or assessment process with the learners by collecting feedbacks. Hence Assessment is an ongoing process and it can be carried out in different stages or different times of a course or apprenticeship programme. Assessment also contributes to evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of a course or apprenticeship programme and improving the quality of learning delivery.

Assessing plays a big role in learning and development. This includes ensuring a learner is on the right course that is appropriate and suitable. For Example, during Initial Assessment, I got to understand and knew the level, skills and ability of my learners which will allow me to advise them on a more suitable solution that meets their needs. Assessment also ensures that skills and ability are measured using a set criteria and can be comparable across the nation in cases of vocational qualifications. This is particularly important in these days of performance indicators and targets.

There are various stages of Assessment:

Figure 1.1: Assessment Process

Initial Assessment:
Initial assessment is carried out at the beginning of the course to determine the level of learners and their need and is often used to help place learners in appropriate learning programmes. It can be performed by the enrolment forms, learning agreement forms, individual profile forms, and individual learning plan forms. Diagnostic Assessment:

A learner's current knowledge and skills is measured by diagnostic assessment and the main purpose of doing this is to identify a suitable programme of learning.

Formative assessment:
We can define it as an assessment which is carried out at regular intervals to monitor the progress of learner with accompanying feedback in order to help to improve his or her performance. It is an ongoing assessment and carried out thorough the course. It can be performed by observation, quizzes, question & answer, individual check list form etc. Formative assessment is undertaken so that the positive achievements of a pupil may be recognised and discussed and the appropriate next step be planned.

Summative assessment:
Summative assessment on the other hand is considered as the final stage of the assessment process and it is generally carried out at the end of a course or project. In an educational setting, summative assessments are typically used to assign students or learners a course grade or degree. Summative assessment is designed to record the overall achievement of a pupil or learner in a systematic way.

The purposes of assessment are:
The primary purpose of assessment is for the learner to receive multiple attempts to practice and to demonstrate understanding of content and to develop skills by receiving specific and timely feedback by the teacher or assessor in order to improve achievement. The primary purpose of assessment is for the teacher or assessor to analyze learner’s progress for the purpose of modifying and refining the teaching/learning cycle to better meet their needs.

Thus the purposes of assessment can be categorized in the following areas:

• To provide feedback to teachers/learning providers and learners about progress in order to support future learning: the formative role; • To provide information about the level of...
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