I teach a vocational course at a college who delivers to 14-19 year olds. All the courses are created by City & Guilds. Assessment is a vital part of teaching that helps to enable learning all the time, which is why it is integrated into all lessons that I deliver. It allows me to promote motivation, focus and the ability to comprehend student’s needs, as well as providing feedback to students helping them to progress and develop at a faster pace. The purpose of assessing is to find out if learning is taking place. “It is important for you to know where you want your students to finish and what you want them to learn” Reece, Walker (2003)“Teaching Training and Learning”
Assessing enables me to see if students have gained the required skills and knowledge needed to pass a qualification in my case a vocational qualification (NVQ) level 1-2. Before a student takes an assessment I will involve them in the process making the assessment fair. I will make sure they are ready by assessing their progress when practicing for the assessment, as well as ask them to verbally explain what they have to do to show good comprehension of the task, they also have to fill out a basic specification to help with guidance. A specification has technical characteristics of the task being attempted, it also includes Health and Safety, materials, equipment and the process of application regarding the work to be carried out. My main focus when teaching is to use observation. The reason for using this is to ensure my students are correctly applying skills to their practical work. Observation can be applied in small groups or with individuals. The governing bodies prefer the use of observation when assessing as long as all the evidence can be recorded. During the students assessment I will use formative observation, this allows me to monitor the progress of the students work and allows me to see if they are applying the correct techniques. If my students are wallpapering, I can see if they are using the correct tools, equipment, materials and most important to see if they are following all Health and Safety precautions. As soon as the student is satisfied with their work I will use summative assessment to complete the assessment on their practical work. This allows me to work with the governing bodies criteria. I can use the criteria, a tick sheet, to see if the students work is to a minimum standard and completed correctly. To make sure that the summative assessment is fair to all students, the assessing must be completed by a qualified assessor. The other type of assessment that is written questions. The main course I deliver is a construction maintenance course, which consists of a practical diploma and an NVQ apprentiship. For the NVQ side of the qualification the students have to answer NVQ papers called VR’s. These question papers help students to develop the theory side of the qualification; they help me to focus the information to deliver to the students including the areas they struggle on. The VR papers are a good judgement to test comprehension, and gain a pass, but their downfall is that the students only need 70% of each paper to be correct. To me this feels unfair, for those students that try hard and want to complete with 100% success have to work more, but those students who can struggle with them, can leave the difficult questions out and still pass regardless. I feel that they all should have the correct knowledge and should all pass at a higher rate than what is expected of them. The VR papers are developed by City & Guilds. They are written in a manner in which students find it very difficult to comprehend and they need help to explain the questions in the students own terminology. If the questions are developed, students may not feel intimidated by them and may attempt to answer all questions including the more difficult ones. All the questions are produced in the students own hand writing, and...
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