Unit 407-Principles of assessment in lifelong learning
1. Understand how types and methods of assessment are used in lifelong learning 1.1 Analyse how types of assessment are used in lifelong learning Assessment can be defined as a sample taken from a larger domain of content and process skills that allows one to infer student understanding of a part of the larger domain being explored. The sample may include behaviours, products, knowledge and performances. Assessment is a continuous process that involves examining and observing children's behaviours, listening to their ideas, and developing questions to promote conceptual understanding. The term authentic assessment is often referred to in any discussion of assessment and can be thought of as an examination of student performance and understanding on significant tasks that have relevancy to the student's life inside and outside of the classroom. Formative Assessment occurs in the short term, as learners are in the process of making meaning of new content and of integrating it into what they already know. Feedback to the learner is immediate (or nearly so), to enable the learner to change his/her behaviour and understandings right away. Formative Assessment also enables the teacher to "turn on a dime" and rethink instructional strategies, activities, and content based on student understanding and performance. His/her role here is comparable to that of a coach. Formative Assessment can be as informal as observing the learner's work or as formal as a written test. Formative Assessment is the most powerful type of assessment for improving student understanding and performance. Formative assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning. It does not contribute to the final mark given for the module; instead it contributes to learning through providing feedback. It should indicate what is good about a piece of work and why this is good; it should also indicate what is not so good and how the work could be improved. Effective formative feedback will affect what the student and the teacher does next. Examples: a very interactive class discussion; a warm-up, closure or exit slip; an on-the-spot performance; a quiz. Interim Assessment takes place occasionally throughout a larger time period. Feedback to the learner is still quick, but may not be immediate. Interim Assessments tend to be more formal, using tools such as projects, written assignments, and tests. The learner should be given the opportunity to re-demonstrate his/her understanding once the feedback has been digested and acted upon. Interim Assessments can help teachers identify gaps in student understanding and instruction, and ideally teachers address these before moving on or by weaving remedies into upcoming instruction and activities. Examples: Chapter test; extended essay; a project scored with a rubric. Summative Assessment takes place at the end of a large chunk of learning, with the results being primarily for the teacher's or school's use. Results may take time to be returned to the student/parent, feedback to the student is usually very limited, and the student usually has no opportunity to be reassessed. Thus, Summative Assessment tends to have the least impact on improving an individual student's understanding or performance. Students/parents can use the results of Summative Assessments to see where the student's performance lies compared to either a standard (MEAP/MME) or to a group of students (usually a grade-level group, such as all 6th graders nationally, such as Iowa Tests or ACT). Teachers/schools can use these assessments to identify strengths and weaknesses of curriculum and instruction, with improvements affecting the next year's/term's students. Summative assessment demonstrates the extent of a learner's success in meeting the assessment criteria used to gauge the intended learning outcomes of a module or programme, and which contributes to the final mark given for the module. It is...
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