Principles & Practice of Assessment

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Unit 3

Level 4 Theory Assessment

Principles & Practice of Assessment

I am currently teaching mature learners on a Thursday evening at South Tyneside College covering a two hour period.  The group consists of five learners, their ages ranging from eighteen to their mid forties.  I have observed and taught the above group since October 2007.  The subject I deliver is Word and Text Processing.

Principles of Assessment

Assessment takes place when the teacher collates the necessary information, which allows the teacher to make a judgement with regards to the learner’s progress or an insight to at what stage the learner is at (Entry Behaviour).  One of the Assessments being the Initial Assessment, which incorporates information such as:

  • Existing knowledge and understanding.
  • Personal learning goals.
  • ‘Key Skills’, would the learner benefit from a literacy or a numeracy course, as well?
  • Will the learner be eligible for financial support from the College?
  • Personal strengths and weaknesses.

Reece & Walker (2007, PG 35) suggests, “The basic teaching model indicates that assessment is required at two major stages of the process.  You will need to assess the entry behaviour of your learners and you will need to make an assessment to see how well they have achieved the objectives after the learning has taking place”

Within the Initial Assessment the teacher will identify whether there is any specific needs with regards to the learner.  This will be done in the way of a basic skill’s test to identify levels of reading, writing or numeracy (Functional Skills).  This will help identify need for support well in advance of the learner starting their course and it ensures that the learner is on the correct course at the correct level.

Diagnostic testing follows Initial Assessment, this helps determine if the learner has any learning difficulties i.e. deafness, visually impairment, dyslexia or whether they have behavioural difficulties.  This information along with the information from the Initial Assessment will all be put together and will be used to create an Individual Learning Plan.

The Individual Learning Plan will establish what support will be put in place, this could be in the way of a Support Worker or just something, as basic as, the font size on an overhead projector being large enough for the learner to see, or myself, as the Teacher speaking clearly and at an adequate pace.

Petty (2004, PG 449) suggest, “Assessment serves many different purposes.  It can grade the attainment of learners, help to select candidates for jobs or future courses, contribute to evidence on the effectiveness of courses and teachers, and provide a long-term goal for learners.  But this applies mainly to the final or summative assessment of a course, which aims to sum up the learners’ achievements”

There are two other forms of assessment, which I have outlined below:

  • Formative Assessment is an approach in a way that the teacher can observe and assess the learner throughout the whole of the course.  This allows the learner to have more control and a bigger chance of active learning.  This is supported learning throughout!
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  • Summative Assessment is testing whether the learner has achieved the learning outcomes of the course.  Assessment can also be to measure how well the teacher has performed within their role and how effective the used methods were.  Summative Assessment being at the end of the course is also carried out of the examination board.  In my subject this is ‘OCR’.

Petty (2007, PG 449) states that, “Assessment measures the breadth and depth of learning”

I feel Formative Assessment is incredibly important, as this establishes whether learning has taken place.  Within my lessons I carry this out in ...

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