Unit 007 – Principles of assessment in lifelong learning.
Assessment is a tool to see if learning has taken place and a measure of how much a learner has retained and what further teaching is required. There are 3 assessment types used in lifelong learning, these are initial, formative and summative. Depending on the subject being taught and the relevant awarding bodies’ requirements a combination of all 3 types maybe used. Initial – Initial assessment should take place prior to the students starting a particular programme, course or subject. A simple initial assessment could be to ask the group a simple question at the start of the first session, for example “has anyone done this before?” This should give you an idea of what the learners already know on the subject. Relevant initial assessment will also give you information on the learners, for example, any specific assessment requirements or needs that they may have, their learning style and any further support that they may need. Formative – Formative assessment should take place continually throughout the learners’ time on the programme and allow for development and improvement to take place. Simply asking questions and observing can allow the tutor to give on-going feedback to enable the learner to develop further, before a final assessment can take place. By assessing the learners on a formative basis the tutor can see if they are ready to undertake a summative assessment. The tutor can use activities, quizzes and short tasks for the learners to carry out which will highlight areas that require further development. Summative – Summative assessment will usually occur at the end of the programme, topic, unit or full qualification. These assessments tend to be the most stressful for learners and can sometimes lead to a learner failing even though they are more than capable under other circumstances. It is important that when the tutor assesses the learners the tutor only assesses what needs to be assessed to meet the qualification requirements. Summative assessments can include exams, portfolios and assignments. As well as the above assessment types, there are various assessment methods used within lifelong learning. Assessment methods are different from assessment types. A method is how the assessment type will be used and will be classed as either formal or informal. It is important that all assessment methods are tailored to the level and ability of the group, for example a level 1 learner may struggle to write an essay, a level 2 learner may not be mature enough to accept peer feedback and a level 3 learner may feel that a crossword is too easy. As mentioned above all assessment methods can be grouped into 2 categories, either formal or informal. Formal assessments include: assignments, case studies, essays, exams, multiple choice, observations, professional discussions, projects, tests, portfolios and witness testimonies. Informal assessments include: discussions, gapped handouts, journals/diaries, peer assessment, puzzles, self-assessment, questions (oral and written), quizzes, role plays and worksheets. The assessment methods listed above all have advantages and disadvantages to them when used as assessment tools for learners; the following table compares the strengths and limitations of a selection of the above methods. Assessment Method
| Several activities or tasks to cover theory and practice.
| A well written assignment will help learners to provide evidence of knowledge and skills. Can challenge a learners potential.Consolidates learning.
| All aspects of the curriculum must have been taught beforehand.All assignments must be individually assessed and individual feedback given.Time consuming for both the learner and the tutor.
| Formal written text.
| Very useful for academic subjects, e.g. English.Can be used to check a learners language and literacy skills at a specific level.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document