There are 3 main types of assessment initial, summative & formative. Initial assessments aim is to create a profile of the learner this can be achieved informally by setting questions relating to the learners previous knowledge skills & experience relating to the subject area, or by asking the learner why they have enrolled on the course & what they wish to achieve from it. The more formal method of completing an initial assessment known as a diagnostic assessment this will assist in identifying the learners capabilities, & what support will be needed to be offered to them for successful completion of the programme.
On the course I teach which a level 1 chef’s diploma there is a skills test is carried out at the interview. The candidate is asked to cook off an omelette in order to assess his current levels of culinary skills. There are also diagnostic tests carried out relating to functional skills as these run alongside the diploma at various levels, to support the students. The tests allow the students to be placed in the appropriate set in order that they can improve these key skills alongside the diploma during their time at college. According to Petty. G. 2004 this is “closing the gap as it allows the programme to be moved nearer to the student”.
Support tutors are also allocated to each class to assist those students with learning difficulties, for example I have several students in my class with dyslexia & literacy issues. An initial assessment could also be used to produce critical information that needs to go on the students profile at Shrewsbury we are aware of all students preferred learning styles VARKS, this assists us in lesson planning so we deliver our lessons according to the groups preferred learning styles. As the VARKS questionnaire will indicate your preference for taking in & putting out information in a learning context.
The questionnaire only consists of 16 questions in order that those who complete the questionnaire are focused. Data produced from the questionnaire so far indicate that men’s preferred learning style is kinaesthetic where as the female learning style preference is reading & writing. As Wilson. l. 2009 states “many organisations are measured & funded on their success, therefore it is important the right learner is on the right course & receiving the right support. ” A through initial assessment will allow this to happen which in the long term will benefit the learner & the education establishment.
Formative assessment is assessment throughout the course. The aim of this is to provide feedback to the learner in order that the learner can improve their performance throughout the course in order that they can achieve the maximum grades. As Petty. G. 2004 states” for this to be effective the students should be given a medal which would be achieved by being given positive feedback about an area of their work. The mission is information about what needs improving this should be approached in a constructive manner a mission could be a target for the next piece of work or highlighting areas for improvement on the current piece of work.
” Formative assessment which I carry out is by verbal questioning throughout the lesson, often using follow up questions to check the students have acquired knowledge & are not just providing the answers without the reasons behind them. I carry out a lot of questioning at the end of my sessions after I have summarised as well at the start of the next session to confirm the learning points from the last lecture. I also write & give out written tests at the end of the session. Some of these will be short answer questions in order for me to gauge the depth of knowledge the student has about the subject some will require brief explanations .
For example explain why it is dangerous to hold hot food below 63 degrees C. I feedback marks to the students, this can also assist me if a majority of students have got the answer wrong I can check their understanding of this area & review my teaching in of this topic area to ensure improved learning takes place next time. The principles of assessment are described by Wilson. L. 2009 with the acronym “CADET. ”Consistency is the first principle all assessments should be at a level standard. The assessments should also be accessible to the learners.
Assessments should be detailed & cover all parts of the curriculum & not vary away from it. Learners should have also have earnt their qualifications therefore the qualification will have real meaning & be valid. Finally all those who take part in the process must fully understand it & the desired outcomes thus the process should be transparent. I am aware that short answer question verbal & written do not reveal the depth of the learners knowledge as according to Bloom “information or a fact can be recalled to mind however the learner will not be able to do anything with the information this is known as shallow learning.
” Deep learning according to Bloom is “to apply the fact to different situations, & to be able to discuss & argue around the fact/ information. ” In order to ensure the learning is of a deep nature once the fact has been established secondary questions stating why or can you explain that can be used, this will assist you in assessing the depth of the learners knowledge as a result of your teaching. The same applies to written questions rather than asking what colour fire extinguisher is used on an hot oil fire , which just reveals shallow knowledge it is better to ask “Why does a yellow fire extinguisher work on a deep fat fire ?
”This will cause the learner to reveal his depth of knowledge. I use observation as a form of assessment when I supervise the students who work alongside me in the college refectory. I provide them with feedback at the end of their session. I have also issued them with customer service logs for them to self assess their own performance, they write down how they have handled customer complaints or how they went that extra mile for the customer. I sign these logs off at the end of each session with my comments against their own self assessment.
I also use simulation to assess them, I will act as a customer asking for a healthy option or stating I cannot eat garlic do the foods on display contain any garlic, in order to check their product knowledge of what they are serving. At the end of each session in the refectory the students receive a written assessment of their performance from me which they maintain as evidence in their work file. The criterion that I base their performance on is based around the summative assessment that they have to complete as part of their course.
I have issued all students with a copy of these criteria in order that they can work on the keys areas of performance. I also feedback to them on areas of shortfall that on the formal assessment day may cause them to fail, in order that they are fully prepared for the assessment. For example if they are late , inappropriately dressed or use their mobile in the work situation. Summative assessment is more formal & is usually associated with tests & exams. The course I teach is a City & Guilds qualification. On completion of each area of the course there is a summative City & Guilds test that the students have to complete.
These summative tests take different forms they can be short questions based on work place scenarios, production of a leaflet or an information package relating to the topic that students have just studied. Each assignment is graded by me in line with the City & guilds marking criteria . Samples of my marked work are checked by other tutors to ensure quality control & consistency in marking. City & Guilds also employ an external verifier who will check samples of students work which I have marked. The same principles apply to my practical assessments they are internally & externally verified .
I have failed two students on one theory test as I could see from the answers that copying had occurred I was also able to recall that these two students were sitting next to each other. This backs up the comment “For assessment to work fairly all parties must play the game” Times Education Supplement 2001. I have also failed work on the grounds of plagiarism , I could tell from the language used & the overall standard of work compared to the student’s normal standard of work , that this piece of work was not his own.
When marking work I always” comment on good practice first” as stated by Reece I & Walker. S. 2003, this will act as motivation for the student rather than starting on the areas that need improvement. In order to record students progress we have a large master sheet outside the office with all the students names on, a column that indicates the work has been completed & at what grade this means at a quick glance we can monitor how students are progressing as far as grades & completion of course work.
We have over 60 students on the course there are 3 tutors including myself who are responsible for maintaining our own records for those we teach . Once we have marked, graded work & fed back to the learners it is placed in a central filing cabinet, where each learner has his own file, which can then be accessed by internal & external verifiers Differentiation should also be taken into account when conducting assessments. I have several students in my group with learning difficulties.
There is one who due to literacy issues has difficulty in understanding questions, so when there is a written test I read the questions to him & explain the outcome that the question requires from him. I also plan my questions according to the learner’s abilities using the stretching questions for those students who have a higher academic ability. Other forms of assessment that apply to the teacher are self assessment & peer assessment. During in my time at the college I have already had one peer assessment from my teaching coach.
The college also requires you to organise a peer assessment with a teacher from a different vocational area I have organised mine with someone from the finance department. This practice is designed so you can pick up good teaching practice from another area of the college & see the methods used to teach other subjects. I also carry out self evaluations on my sessions in order that I can carry good practice forward & review areas of lessons that did not work, this is very important in my first year of teaching as I am learning a lot on my feet in the classroom.
The students have a self assessment exercise within their course. They are asked to work in teams to produce a set menu in the restaurant then write their own critic of how they performed & what their contribution was & how this could be improved. This critique will be marked by the tutor who was present when the practical exercise took place. In summary comprehensive assessment initial, summative & formative is essential throughout the learner’s journey.
Students are assessed for a number of reasons which include motivation, to create learning opportunities, to give feedback and to grade from an internal & external point of view. Reference List Reece. I. & Walker. S. (2003) Teaching Training & Learning, 5th Edition, Business Education Publishers, Sunderland,p317 Rage . P. (2001) Times Higher Educational Supplement 2,000 Tips for Lecturers,Routledge, Oxon, p117 Petty. (2004), Teaching Today, 3rd edition, Stanley Thornes, Cheltenham p Wilson. L. (2009),Practical Teaching a guide to PTLLS & DTLLS, Cenage Learning Hampshire.