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Assessment and Evaluation

Free essay example:

Table of Contents

Description of the learning group

Purposes of assessment

Principles of assessment

Method of Assessment

Learning Outcomes:

Test Specification

Candidate Instructions

Details of The Tasks

Marking Scheme


Appndix a         14

Appendix b        16

Appendix c        19

Description of the learning group

I am currently teaching a HND (Higher National Diploma) group at Sandwell College. This is a medium sized class; it consists of 12 learners. The learners are of different age groups; the age range varies from 16-24. The learners belong to different ethnic groups and have come from various countries hence inherit different characteristics in terms of postures, gestures and hairstyles etc. The ethnicity of this group is described as below:

British-White British=6                        


Somalian =1



dig 1:A pie chart showing the% of different ethnic groups

This group consists of 8 males and 4 females. Most of the students in this group are hardworking, neat, polite and attentive. No special needs have been identified for this learning group.

Purposes of assessment

Assessment is defined as a process of gathering and documenting information about the achievement, skills and abilities of an individual. This process allows teachers to learn more about the competencies and deficiencies of the learners being tested. It can also improve the quality of the learning experience for the learners.An essential starting point is to be aware of the reasons why you are assessing the students, and how to design an assessment that will fulfil your needs.[1] Assessment tasks can have following three purposes:

  1. Motivating students, to learn and to explore and practise and show what they have learned.
  2. They can lead directly to learning, through requiring students to make sense of what they already know, to link what they know to new knowledge, and to undertake activities which result in learning.
  3. Give feedback to students to guide their future learning, and determine the student's qualification, or progression to further study.

Principles of assessment

It is important to explain some of the fundamental principles, which need to be applied to the design of an assessment strategy. The assessment process should operate fairly for all the learners. Fairness ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity to attain a good assessment. No individual or group should enjoy privileged status or suffer undue disadvantage in terms of the academic judgements that are made about their performance. Matters relating to illness, disability or other reasons for non-completion of work need to be handled sensitively, equitably and consistently.[2]


The validity of an assessment depends on the how well the assessment objectives are met with the syllabus objectives. For example, an IT assessment which insisted that answers had to be written in French would be invalid as there is a good chance that you would be testing students’ knowledge of French rather than their abilities in IT.

Validity is also comprised if questions are difficult for the students to understand, or are culturally biased. [3]


An assessment is considered reliable if assessors acting independently using the same criteria and mark scheme produce exactly the same result about a given piece of work. Petty (1998) suggests to achieve reliability of examinations by the use of carefully designed marking schemes which allots marks on objective criteria, rather than leaving the mark to the general impression of the examiner. Therefore the students should be aware of the learning outcomes and the assessment criteria.

Method of Assessment

There are a variety of assessment methods available hence difficult to choose one to assess students' achievements. Types of assessment methods include essays, assignments, examinations, projects, portfolios, presentations, problem sheets and case studies.  My aim is to choose an assessment instrument, which most effectively assesses the objectives of the unit of study. I have also considered the broader aims of the programme and thought of what qualities and abilities I would like to engender in the learners. After a research into different assessment methods I have decided to use a case study as my assessment instrument.

Case-studies are excellent to be used as an assessment for application of principles to real-world situations. It reaches all the way up Bloom's taxonomy to "synthesis" and "evaluation" as it requires a degree of sophistications on the part of students. I am currently teaching Systems Analysis as part of HND course. This module involves theories on data modelling techniques, Systems Analysis and SSADM. I have used case studies as an active learning strategy in my lesssons. As it invloves the students actively in the learning process therefore they can learn more effectively. Case studies encourage learning of both course content and key skills, and careful consideration needs to be made on how to assess these different aspects. Summative assessment is used to assess the students' understanding of course content. However a more formative approach is applied for evaluating key skills and giving feedback to students to reflect upon their learning experience. I have decided to use a case study to assess the students as it provides useful information for formative purposes.

Although the time investment in developing the case study is initially greater than expected for an exam but offset against this is time saved during the assessment period. However the use of case studies is not recommended in the situations where criteria for assessment of correct or successful answers are unclear. While desigining the case study the level of detail has to be addressed carefully. If too sparse, it may well suggest its own answers: if too complex, students can get lost. Distracting information is legitimate, but should be introduced with care. Do not carried away with the story.[4]

Learning Outcomes:

This assessment will provide them an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of the subject (System Analysis). Students will be given a case study describing the problem scenario of a Medical Centre. These students will be marked using a defined marking scheme to measure the level of learners’ understanding of the subject. Additionally the results will allow me to identify their learning needs.Following are the objectives of this assessment.

The students should be able to

  1. Investigate and understand the problem scenario given in the case study.
  2. Identify the external data entities and data flow.
  3. Draw a data flow diagram for the Medical Centre using the context diagram technique.

Test Specification

Unit 2: Systems Analysis

Notes for the Tutor


The test has been designed to assess students’ knowledge against the learning outcomes of the assessment. The case study will be used as a formative assessment of the students. The candidates must have attended the prior sessions that cover underpinning knowledge and skills of the subject.

Before carrying out the assessment:

  1. Candidates will be provided with a case study designed for this assessment, which describes the problem scenario.
  2. Candidates will be given clear instructions about the tasks they need to perform.
  3. Candidates will be provided the opportunity to ask any questions about the case study. They may carry out any preparation prior to undertaking the tasks.

When completing the tasks:

  1. Candidates will be given 30 minutes to complete all the tasks.
  2. Candidates must work individually and should not be allowed to discuss the tasks with their peers.

Candidate Instructions


You have been employed as a system analyst by the Medical Centre at the University of life to carry out system analysis of the current system. See the case study (Appendix A) for the description of the current system at the Medical Centre.

Details of The Tasks

You are required to:

  1. Identify and produce the list of the external entities involved in the current system of the Medical Centre. (5 Marks)
  2. Produce a table to show the data flow from and to the external entities you have identified in task A. (5 Marks)

  3. Draw a context diagram that demonstrates the entire system for the given scenario in the case study. (10 Marks)

Unit 2: Systems Analysis

Marking Scheme

This marking scheme is designed as guidance for the marking of the students’ completed work. For the purpose of this assignment this marking scheme is directly linked with assessment instrument. Any changes in the assessment instrument or in the required tasks in the test specifications will require changes to the marking scheme.


Task Description

Marking Criteria


Candidate’s Evidence


Identify and produce the list of the external entities involved in the current system of the Medical Centre

Five marks are allocated to this task. Full marks should be given if the all the external entities are correctly identified and listed by the candidate.

0.5 marks should be deducted if any of the external entity is not identified.

0.5 marks should be deducted if an external entity is wrongly identified.

Written work of the Candidate


Produce a table to show the data flow from and to the external entities you have identified in task A

Five marks are allocated to this task

0.5 marks should be deducted for each mistake made.

Written work of the Candidate


Draw a Context Diagram that demonstrates the entire system.

Ten marks are allocated to this task. Full marks should be given if all entities are correctly drawn on the diagram and data flow is correctly shown on the diagram, that shows the link of external entities with the current system.

0.5 marks should be deducted for each mistake.

Students will be given 1 bonus mark if diagram is neatly drawn.

Written work of the Candidate

Grade Structure/Passing Criteria:

Total marks:        20        


Percentage % of marks obtained




>=60% AND <80%


>=40% AND <60%




My assessment instrument was implemented successfully as the results indicate a good pass rate for all the students. The passing rate is 66.66 % see (Appendix C Statistical Results). As it tests all the learning objectives stated in the lesson plan (see appendix b) hence is valid. This instrument has been devised to provide clear learning outcomes, a clear marking scheme and assessment criteria.  Because the same explicit standards are applied to each student's work therefore it is reliable. As ‘Systems analysis’ is a theoretical subject therefore case studies prove to be the best method for both learning and assessment.

After marking the learners work I planned a feedback session. This feedback was provided soon after the assessment took place, so that the learning from feedback is connected to the assessment. This session involved providing positive comments on the completion of tasks and constructive criticism. This feedback will allow them to improve their work in future.

The statistical results (appendix c) show that the learners who belonged to the ethnic minority groups for e.g. Indians, Somalians did not achieve very high grades. I believe frequent diagnostic tests will allow me to further discover their weaknesses in the subject. However individual help will be provided to ensure their understanding of the topic.  Feedback received from the students indicates that the case study scenario was too long hence they should be given more reading time in the future.

Referring to the statistical results (see Appendix C) it is observed that the assessment has provided the able students an opportunity to stretch their abilities and achieve high grades. However it also recognises the effort of less able ones.  

This assessment was used as a formative teaching method that finds faults and fixes them. In addition it is acknowledged that styles and modes of learning vary from student to student. It is probably true to say that every assessment method will place some students at a disadvantage to some extent. When a balance in learning styles and assessment methods is maintained then the students are able to develop a range of skills and no students are  unfairly disadvantaged compared to another.

The Medical Centre at the University of Life


The Medical Centre caters mainly for students and staff at the University of Life. Registration takes place each year when new students take their enrolment numbers to the Centre and register as patients. The University sends the Medical Centre the list of all students enrolled each year so that they can double check that the prospective patient is enrolled. It is also possible for local residents to enrol if they live within the area and if there is room on a doctor’s list. Once the patient is enrolled, the medical centre sends details to General Practioners’ Council (GPC). The GPC will then issue a new medical card directly to the patient. If a patient leaves the centre, the GPC must be informed. The GPC will fund the centre and pay salaries depending upon the number of patients enrolled.

Patients can attempt to make an appointment at the Centre, though usually their condition will have cleared up by the time the appointment occurs. Patients must cancel their appointment or be open to public ridicule. A ‘name and shame’ list of patients who forgot to cancel appointments is on display in the waiting room. If they do get to see the doctor they will be prescribed   paracetamol or penicillin.

In rare cases where doctors admit defeat, they will refer patients (if still breathing) to the local hospital. Alternatively, they might ask for a second opinion. However, this will rarely be useful, as they will already have tried paracetamol.

There are four doctors and a nurse. The nurse, jenny deals mainly with vaccinations and repeat prescriptions. She also is also responsible for ordering supplies when they get low. Supplies might be anything from plasters to syringes. Each doctor has a list of patients for whom he or she is the GP. However, it is possible for patients to see other doctors if their own doctor is not on duty. There are two receptionists, George and Betty and a trainee receptionist Diane who are responsible for dealing with patients queries and maintaining the appointments book.

Unit:  System Analysisimage00.png





Context of Lesson (Why are you teaching this element? How does it fit into the scheme of work?)

The lesson is designed to carry out assessment of students’ understanding of the subject. Students will be given a case study describing a scenario, with the detailed instructions about carrying out the tasks that need to be performed. The assessment strategy focuses the data modelling techniques, which is a core part of the schemes of work. The assessment test however only focuses on one particular data modelling technique namely context diagram.

Assessment Strategy (How will you know if the learning has been successful? How will you measure this learning?)

1-The students will be asked to undertake a test based on a case study that describes problem scenario. Students will be given detailed instructions clearly stating the tasks they need to perform in order to pass the assessment test. Students work will then be marked for their work using a predefined marking scheme.

2-The learning will be measured using the students’ results of the above assessment.

Resources (How will you use ICT (create resources/Powerpoint/Smartboard); what other resources will you use?)



3-Handouts (Case study) and assessment instructions.

Learning Objectives

All learners will be given clear information regarding aims, objectives and outcomes.

Students should be able

  • Investigate and understand the problem scenario given in the case study.
  • Identify the external data entities and data flow.
  • Draw a data flow diagram for the Medical Centre using the context diagram technique.

How will you differentiate?

Evaluating the outcome of the assessment test will identify the different learning needs of the students. This will then help in using the effective differentiation in the future sessions, which will be based on students’ learning needs.

Shared Time Activities (e.g. group work, learner centred activities, individual/pair work, differentiated activities?)

All students will be working individually on the test.

Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL Support

I will be highlight error in literacy if appropriate and helpful.

Plenary (How will you open/begin/conclude/summarise your lesson?)

Q & A session

Anticipated Problems/Solutions

Problem: mal-functioning of ICT equipment

Solution: Tutor will have printed version of presentation.


[2] http://www.aaps.ed.ac.uk/regulations/AsstPrinciples.htm

[3] Petty, G (1998) Teaching Today. 2nd Edition. Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes (Publishers) Ltd..


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