PRINCIPLES OF ASSESSMENT IN LIFELONG LEARNING
Numerous assessment methods are available within the learning environment. We will discuss some of these methods that I feel are the most important and beneficial. It is important that the demands and benefits of undertaking the learning are explained to candidates at the earliest opportunity to help motivate them to achieve the qualification. Examples of assessment methods and their strengths and weaknesses. Assessment Methods
Q & A’s: Involves the learners. Key questions can be pre-planned. Feedback on quality of learning is gained. Specific answers can be given to cover the unit standards (reliable). Direct Q & A’s are most reliable. Not all learners may want to participate in Q & A’s due to confidence with talking in a group. Reflectors do not suit this method and you may need a larger group. Voluntary Q & A’s are unreliable to assess learners’ progress.
Oral Questioning: Ensures understanding of the learner’s knowledge. It is primary source of first-hand information- reliable evidence from the learner. The learner may not cope well with being questioned on the spot. They may not be functioning at that particular time and may not remember the information. The learner may be better at writing things down, rather than verbal answering. Discussion: Involves the learners - student centred, encourages deep learning, reflection, criticising others views & enhances feedback to others. Discussion may not develop effectively. Learners may make personal remarks towards other learner’s, which may offend/upset others. It may be difficult to keep to the topic in question.
Observation: Checklists used to assess competence are very reliable. The learner is able to demonstrate their performance under non-pressurised conditions. Learners may feel threatened/ uncomfortable when being observed. Prejudices of the observer may affect the validity & reliability of the assessment. Observers own interpretation of competence displayed may differ with each learner.
Initial Assessment and Induction
A good induction can help the candidate to feel confident about taking responsibility for their own learning and assessment. It is therefore important that the information and advice provided during the induction is appropriate to the candidate’s needs, and that the candidate is given sufficient time and encouragement to ask questions. Skill scans, self-assessment forms and other diagnostic and training-needs-analysis tools can be used to help candidates identify the skills and knowledge they have already acquired in their current role and how these match the requirements of the qualification they are undertaking. This process should also identify learning needs. The assessment method used needs to be selected carefully to ensure that it allows candidates to demonstrate fully their competence while reflecting their particular assessment needs. Observation
This assessment method is the most reliable of all of the assessment methods as it allows you to observe the learner in their natural working environment undertaking their normal work activities which can be measured against the relevant standards. This type of assessment is current, valid, reliable and most of all authentic due to the assessor observing the learner undertaking real work activities. Observation should be carried out inconspicuously and discreetly, to avoid distracting the candidate. This is particularly important during interactions with customers or colleagues. Observation should be used whenever possible but not sufficient on its own and should therefore be used with other forms of assessment methods. Verbal Questioning
Verbal questioning goes hand in hand with observation and is an important part of other assessment techniques such as witness testimony and professional discussion. It will allow an assessor to question learners during observation to draw out underpinning...
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