Understand theories, principles and applications of formal and informal assessment

Topics: Assessment, Educational psychology, Summative assessment Pages: 5 (1496 words) Published: April 15, 2014

1 Understand theories, principles and applications of formal and informal assessment

In this assignment I will briefly discuss the various types of assessment available to myself as a teacher in the lifelong learning sector, highlighting some methods of assessment and their qualities and the involvement of IT as an assessment resource and learners in the assessment process.

There are primarily four different types of assessment used whilst teaching in the lifelong learning sector, all as crucial and relevant as each other; they are Initial assessment, Diagnostic assessment, Formative assessment and Summative assessment. Each ultimately may be conducted using any method of assessment loosely categorised into four different groups: Iinitial, diagnostic formative and summative as stated, objective and subjective, referencing (criterion-referenced, norm-referenced, and Ipsative) and finally informal and formal.

Indicative by title, the initial assessment is a gauge of the students’ ability to complete the required work and learning necessary to complete any particular course. It should take place before commencement of study and there are many ways in which this assessment can be carried out, for example via audition for students wishing to study music or other practical skill based discipline, or through tests, examination or even a simple interview where the proposed student can be asked about relevant experience learning and skills. Initial assessments are vital to help ensure that students are able to manage any learning challenges that may present themselves upon commencement of studying. They also help the teacher ascertain any ability differentiation between the students so that applicable grouping or referral strategies may be utilised. In IT, which is currently my area of focus, an accurate initial assessment is crucial in determining a candidates suitability for the prescribed course, without it, the challenges I will face within my classroom are difficult, tedious and often frustrating for all involved, Teacher, student and other learners in attendance.

To explore a student’s support needs and tutelage direction we use Diagnostic assessment, this is an investigatory assessment that takes place at the start of the course and can conducted in many forms such as an interview, questionnaire, learning style assessment or written work. Diagnostic

assessment will help a teacher grasp a better understanding of the student's needs and abilities. According to Marton & Booth (1997 p179), effective learning depends on ‘meetings of awareness’ between the teacher and the class, the teacher divulges the knowledge in ways designed to ensure that all the students to understand it. “That ability depends on an empathetic awareness of what students already know and how they learn.” Entwistle (2000 p8).

Formative assessment is a continual form of assessment that should be paramount whilst teaching, it enables the teacher to understand and ensure the students digestion of any given knowledge throughout the length of the course. Common ways to asses could be found using quizzes, tasks and of course discussion. As a guitar teacher, I make formative assessments continuously as mistakes like incorrect technique once learnt can be difficult to eradicate at a later date.

Finally, Summative assessments take place at the end of the course and ensure that any course objectives are achieved. They commonly take place in the form of an exam, practical test or by verification of any on-going portfolio or final product and an award; grade or certificate is often awarded for successful candidates. Summative feedback is important for my learners, I offer it at the end of every days work as I feel it helps to improve a students poor output as they realise that someone actually reads what they’ve written. Equally it bolsters the confidence of the higher ability learners too.

Methods Of Assessment...

Bibliography: Marton, F. & Booth, S. (1997) Learning and Awareness. Mahwah, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum
Promoting deep learning through teaching and assessment: conceptual frameworks and educational contexts. Noel Entwistle, University of Edinburgh. 2000.
Blythe, T. and associates (1998). The Teaching for Understanding Guide. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Gravells, A (2011)Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector: The New Award Fifth edition, (Lifelong Learning Sector Series) (Kindle Locations 2077, 2128). SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.
Psychology Learning and Teaching, 3(2), 102-108, Involving students in assessment, Falchikov, N. 2002
http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/subjects/psychology/p20040519_falchikovpdf.pdf accessed on 10th February 2014
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