Assessments within learning have one ultimate goal being to evaluate the learners progress by offering in stages validity, authenticity, reliability and fairness within the assessment process. Progress however can mean many different things; in the case of some of my learners attending two sessions in a row is considered progress. This is why assessments should be an ongoing process throughout the learning experience. Assessments are not only there to assess a learner to sit an exam to test a learner’s knowledge of the subject matter but to: Motivate: Learner’s are able to feel motivated to learn following praise and this assists the learner to build self esteem. Within my own organisation we review learner’s progress every 4 weeks enabling the learner to receive positive feedback on the work already produced and target them for the following month. This allows the learner to understand their own learning journey and what needs to still be achieved; the learner is able to take ownership and pride in their learning. Plan: Assessment assists the tutor in establishing prior learning and what still needs to be achieved. Tutors need assessments to offer learners an individual and worthwhile experience teaching learners what they need rather than what they already know. Assess teaching practice: Assessments allow tutors and teaches to reflect on their own teaching practices, how and if learners have retained the information and allows them to device or modify any materials to suit the current learners on their caseload. ‘’Assessments should be seen as an intrinsic part of the learning process rather than something which is just ‘tacked on’ at the end in order to get some marks’’ Rust, 2002, www.brookes.ac.uk/services/ocsd/2_learntch/briefing_papers/p_p_assessment.pdf Assessments can present themselves in several forms:
Formative| * Provide feedback for teachers adjust activities etc * Identify and amend any deficiencies * Move focus away from achieving grades and concentrate on learning * Frequent and ongoing | Summative| * Process to assess level of learning * Well defined evaluation * Intended to identify how much has been learnt and understood| Criterion| * The objective is to see whether the learner has learned the material * Each criteria must be satisfactorily demonstrated in order to pass * Failure in one criterion cannot be compensated in above average performance in others * Learner will pass as long as all criterion in met regardless of others performance | Normative based | * Makes judgements on performance in comparison to others * Normal distribution * Standardised comparisons among learners| Formal | * Based on results of standardised tests * Administered under regulated/controlled conditions * Determines level of achievement| Informal | * Observing learners as they learn * Centred on content and performance * Less pressure on learner * No constraints |
‘’A test can be reliable without being valid. However, a test cannot be valid unless it is reliable’’ Cal, 2009, http://www.cal.org/flad/tutorial/reliability/3andvalidity.html Reliability
An assessment considered reliable would present the same results on a retest regardless of when or where the assessment takes place and who is doing the marking/scoring. It is difficult to calculate reliability exactly, but different methods exist to try to remedy this including; test-retest, inter-rater reliability, parallel-forms reliability and internal consistency reliability. Validity
An assessment can be seen as valid if it gives an accurate measurement of what is being measured. Awarding bodies in particular seek to ensure validity by developing specifications, question/test paper, marking and scoring schemes and the certification/award process. The purpose of validity is to ensure that the results awarded provide a true picture of achievement and...