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Topics: Education, Learning styles, Educational psychology Pages: 25 (3293 words) Published: May 21, 2014
How can an Initial Assessment that I have devised myself help me to tailor my teaching to satisfy individual learner needs?

Action Research Project submitted to the

Southgate College
(Validated by the University of Middlesex)

In partial fulfilment of the requirements for the qualification of Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector

by
Vishnu Kumar Maharatna Parihar

Period of study:
2008 – 2011

Introduction
I chose to research how an Initial Assessment Form (IAF) could identify a group’s background, barriers to learning, learning needs, learning activity and aid in the creation of an excellent learning programme. My aim was to ascertain whether the current method of oral initial assessment is accurate and reliable for all learners. I collected feedback from my group of learners. I did this using Haringey Adult Learning Service’s (HALS) ‘End of Course Learner Feedback 2010-11’ form and such other feedback as I could obtain specifically on my assessment and impact.

Making an initial assessment of learner’s needs
Due to the fact that Haringey Adult Learning Service does not conduct formal paper based initial assessments at pre-entry or entry for Computerised Accounts Level 1 course, I devised and created myself an initial assessment form.

The initial assessment form I created aimed to gather the relevant information from the potential learner about his/her computing knowledge, academic qualification, learning style, barriers to learning, disability, learning needs, objectives and relevant skills.

Initial Assessment Form
I designed and developed an IAF (see Appendix A). The form was amended to meet the requirements of Computerised Accounts Level 1 using Sage Line 50 course (see Appendix B). This IAF will prove an invaluable resource for me. In future, if I am offering a different course, e.g. Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, I can use this form and change it accordingly.

In addition to the initial assessment I have created, I talked to students to discover their knowledge of accounting terminology and/or if they attended any manual book keeping and accounting courses. Two levels, level 1 and level 2, manual book keeping and accounting courses are offered by HALS. I based this assessment on informal techniques such as talking with the students individually or in small groups (Castling 1996, p11), gauging their responses to a variety of teaching activities, and generally “getting to know” them. I also spent some time talking to other teachers already familiar with the students I would be teaching. This enabled me to gain a tutor’s perspective of the students and the levels of effort, attitudes and preferred learning styles (Reece and Walker 2008, p141).

Literature Review
The publication of the Moser Report - 'A Fresh Start - Improving Literacy and Numeracy', (DfEE 1999), reported that 7 million adults in England, roughly one in five of the population, had low levels of literacy skills. The situation for numeracy was worse, with estimates of the number of adults having some numeracy difficulties ranging from 30% - 50%. The report also found that 75% of people in prison had low literacy and numeracy skills and in fact cannot read The Sun newspaper.

One of the recommendations of the report was that there should be basic skills support in colleges and effective screening strategies implemented, to enable learners to progress on the pathway that will enable success.

The Leitch Review of Skills (HM Treasury 2006), published in December 2006, is an independent review of the UK's long-term skills needed to make us prosperous in a global economy and includes a series of recommendations to improve the UK skills base to make the UK a world leader by 2020. The Review proposes that, by 2020, 95% of adults should have numeracy skills at Entry Level 3 - identified as the minimum skills level needed to be able to function effectively at work and within the world around them....

Bibliography: Black, P. and William, D. (November 1998) Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment, Los Angeles, Phil Delta Kappa International.
Castling, A. (1996) Competence–based Teaching and Training. London: McMillan Press.
Cohen, L., Manion, L., Morrison, K. (2007) Research Methods in Education, 6th Edition. New York: Routledge.
DfEE (Department for Education and Skills) (1999) A Fresh Start- Improving Literacy and Numeracy: The Report of the Working Group Chaired by Sir Claus Moser. London: DfEE.
Hillier, Y. (2003) Reflective Teaching in Further and Adult Education. London: Continuum.
HM Treasury (2006) Leitch Review of Skills, Final Report December 2006
Petty, G
Reece, I and Walker, S. (2008) A Practical Guide: Teaching, Training and Learning, 6th Edition. Sunderland: Business Education Publishers.
Wilson, L
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