What is meant by assessment? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the assessment types and methods you use? How would you involve your learner into the assessment process? Why do we need to keep records of assessment? Assessments are a critical part of the education system; highlighted by Black and Wiliams’(1998) who define assessments as activities providing “information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged”. There are two forms of assessment; formative and summative. Formative assessments are carried out as the course progresses. These are an informal and simple way of gauging how and what your students are learning. This then allows teachers to amend their teaching to accommodate the results as evaluation and reflection takes place. Furthermore students can identify the areas of development and ‘ensure that objectives are being met’ (Minton,1991, p183). Feedback is therefore considered to be significant for the continued development and progression of learners (Petty, 2010). Summative assessment, however, refers to a more traditional approach for testing learners. It involves assessing learners at the end of the course/year providing a final grade. Summative assessment can be very effective, however, it could be very demanding for an adult with learning disabilities as they may find it difficult to recollect information from the beginning of the course. Initial assessment should take place before a learner begins the course; these are ‘an evaluation of a learner’s skills, knowledge, strengths and areas for development.’ (Gravells, 2012). This is effective when working with adults with learning disabilities as it will help establish the appropriate pitch, pace and content/resources to be used. Furthermore, it will be a way of recognising prior learning and such experience/qualifications can be validated.
Rules of assessment should be adhered to ensure equality and fair testing: they should...
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Gravells, A. (2012) Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (5th Edition) Learning Matters Ltd Exeter
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Read, H, (2011) The Best Assessor’s Guide. Bideford: Read On Publications
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