1.1 Explain the functions of assessment in learning and development.
An initial assessment is vital to identify the learner’s needs and learning intentions from the start. This process enables the centre or assessors to see what level of understanding or previous knowledge the learner is at and also if there are any areas of concern to be aware of. This in turn helps meet the learner’s needs. Identifying these needs ensures that each learner on a designated and selected educational path can achieve realistic, achievable and measurable targets set by the assessment benchmark. This demonstrates in itself why it is vital to ensure that the learner is on the right course, in the right environment with the correct support for their individual needs. As this will give them maximum chance to flourish and achieve, knowing that it is at the correct level for them.
The assessment process also allows for the assessor and learner to look at the various progression routes that are available and how the can be met by choosing the most appropriate destination. Look at future goals and progressions. The initial assessment will point out vocational and learning preferences, social development skills and identify the functional skills level. It will also highlight learning difficulties, disabilities, or barriers to learning and support needs that would have to be put in place to help the learner. (Identifying learners’ needs through initial assessment, http://repository.excellencegateway.org.uk/fedora/objects/import-pdf:1574/datastreams/PDF/content.08/01/15) Formative assessment in tracking learner progress
‘Formative assessment describes all those processes by which teachers and learners use information about student’s achievement to improve their achievements. So it’s about using information to adapt your teaching, to adapt the work of your pupils to put the learning back on track … to make sure the learning is proceeding in the right direction and to support that learning. So it’s what happens when you don’t just lecture students and rattle through the material and then ask them if they understood OK.’ Dylan William, Nov 2006 Formative assessment is in place to gather information about the learning that is taking place whilst being taught.
Which means that the assessor can pick up on progress and learning difficulties can be tailored to immediately. It encompasses a wide range of evaluative methods which can be done during a lesson, unit or even a course. It is mainly about improvement of the learner’s educational journey by highlighting their strengths and weakness. (http://edglossary.org/formative-assessment/08/01/15) Summative assessment in assessing learner’s achievement
The summative assessment process is used to evaluate the learner’s final outcome compared to a set benchmark or benchmark. These could be set by the assessor and learner, or put in place nationally or by a governing body. They are evaluative and can be graded and used in the learner’s permanent record.
(http://www.journeytoexcellence.org.uk/resourcesandcpd/research/summaries/rsassessment.asp. 08/01/15) (http://edglossary.org/summative-assessment/08/01/15)