For this unit, your assessor will need to see evidence of you planning and carrying out ‘assessment for learning.’ He/she will need to see you encouraging pupils to look at their progress against learning objectives as well as their own personal targets. This workbook will help you prepare for assessment as well as provide further evidence of your understanding of the process.
Use the spidergram below to summarise the characteristics of ‘assessment for learning’.
e.g. provides pupils with feedback on their progress
Characteristics of Assessment for learning
Formative and Summative assessment – what’s the difference? In the boxes below, provide a definition for each type of assessment. Give examples of the different methods used for formative and summative. Include details of any involvement you have in these assessment methods.
Definition: Formative assessment is a range of assessment procedures, formal and informal, used during the learning process to modify teaching and improve student attainment. Formative assessment is ongoing until the learner is ready for their summative assessment. Examples of methods used for formative assessment:
Observing students – studying how they work things out, what they natural learning style is, noticing what they find difficult Listening to students – listening to their reasoning regarding their work and checking their understanding Open ended questions – using open ended questions to engage them to explain and review their work.
Explanation of my involvement:
As part of my role I ensure that the methods mentioned above are used throughout our lessons to ensure that we are continually assessing our student. These assessment methods inform us whether the students have understood the working and how they can achieve their goal to their full capabilities.
Definition: Summative assessment occurs at the end of the learning process and determines if the content that was delivered has been retained by the students. Examples of methods used for summative assessment:
Exams, tests, quizzes, Key stage SATS and end of year reports all provide summative assessments of student’s attainment and development. These are then scored or graded to inform what level the student has attained and what they are capable of.
Explanation of my involvement:
As part of my role I help the teacher set up for exams, tests, quizzes etc. and provide support that is suitable given that an assessment is taking place. For example, reading a question for a dyslexic child but not expanding or explaining the question to them.
Your role and the role of the teacher in assessment for learning
1. Name and summarise the curriculum framework applicable to the pupils you work with. 2. Explain the assessment requirements applicable to the pupils you work with. Provide examples of any assessment sheets you use. 3. Explain your role and responsibilities in the assessment process. Suggest how this contrasts to the role of the teacher.
The curriculum framework is an organized plan or set of standards or learning outcomes that defines the content to be learned in terms of clear, definable standards of what the student should know and be able to do. Within our setting we use NOCN (National Open College Network) qualifications that are from Entry 3 to Level 4 and include important skills for life as well as the skills that underpin the apprenticeship frameworks such as Functional Skills.
NOCN qualifications are flexible and responsive to learner needs and credit based. They consist of individual units of assessment. Each has an assigned level and credit value attached. Students who demonstrate that they have achieved the learning outcomes of a specified unit are awarded credits and can collect/accumulate these over time towards the achievement of a full qualification.
Our students are aged 16-24 with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD). We cover a range of subject areas at Entry Level with the view of preparing the learners for employment. Many of our units have an emphasis on practical tasks e.g. catering, animal care, horticulture and art and design. As well as delivering these vocational areas we support learners in achieving their Entry Level Numeracy, Literacy and ICT qualifications.
Our students are assessed prior to course entry and one this is finished it might be more appropriate to have some learners working towards an award while others are more suited to achieving a certificate. These are all factors that the tutors need to consider. Once this is ascertained the tutor can select the units and create the workbooks for the learners. As stated earlier each unit has a credit value and suggested guided learning hours. The assessor must select the correct total of units with the correct total of credit value to ensure that the award/certificate/diploma is achieved.
Once the units have been selected and assigned to the relevant tutors to deliver, the tutors can begin to put together a portfolio of evidence. This means that they will need to read the outcomes and assessment methods expected for these units. It is not part of my role to assess the students, their course entry level and put the units/workbooks together.
We assess our student through observation i.e. presentations, evidence i.e. their workbooks and through questions and answers i.e. tests, discussion with tutors and witness statements from staff and students.
It is required for some students to provide photo evidence of their work for their units. It is part of my role to take photographs and videos of students as evidence of their work and the tutor’s role to ensure we have permission to do this.
It is my role to ensure that the students are clear about what they are going to learn, why and how we will assess their understanding of the topic. I work alongside the tutors to define the expected attainment and explain to the students how they show they have achieved this. By doing this the students can then assess for themselves how far they are from attaining this level and where applicable ask for more to support to attain the required level. All of our students have individual learning goals (ILPs) that are also incorporated in to the work to ensure that they are developing on a personal level too.
Tutors lead the group as a whole. As a TSA working with learners with learning disabilities our support is more personal sometimes it’s provided on a one to one basis to support the learner within the learning environment.
Importance and benefits of assessment for learning
Explain in your own words the importance and benefits of assessment for learning. Give an example of how it has benefited a pupil you have supported. In your writing, include an explanation of how ‘assessment for learning’ contributes to planning for all parties – teacher, teaching assistant and pupils.
Assessment for learning is a crucial part of a student’s education and day to day delivery of education. It identifies whether teaching targets are being met and assessments inform grades, understanding of student’s needs and sometimes the funding allocated to them. This can be done at the end of each topic or session by the tutor carrying out a formal assessment of what students have retained. This can also be called summative assessment. Our setting has students with learning disabilities and the assessment of their learning can also be essential to ensure the correct funding for the correct support. Assessment for learning focuses on the student understanding what they are learning, why and how they can achieve their goals. Looking at their interest, engagement and behaviour are all good indicators of whether the task set is appropriate and achievable.
It has been proved that the process of assessment benefits students and increases their motivation to learn. Peer assessment will help them to learn what others do well and what the teachers are looking for in assessments. Understanding their progress encourages students to become more involved with their learning and empowers them. This is turn helps the students improve their learning and performance. As a result students develop greater self-esteem and become more motivated. Assessment for learning involves assessing whether learning is effective.
Student A was a very despondent student when I initially worked with him. He felt he was unable to achieve anything as he had struggled at school from being unable to reach targets set for him. Student A’s tutor set realistic, attainable work for the student. Using the process of assessment for learning he realised his potential as we supported him to reach his goals. Through learning that he had the capability to understand the topics being taught and proof of his understanding of topics he grew in confidence both academically and emotionally.
Peer assessment helped him see how to display and lay out his work more clearly and he made great efforts to ensure that he did so. He ensured that he completed homework and prepared for lessons appropriately. He was less challenging to engage as his confidence in his abilities grew. His academic performance increased throughout the year and he exceeded even our expectations. He moved in to a move challenging course the following academic year. In comparison at the beginning of the academic year we thought he would leave the course uncompleted by the attitude his displayed on joining the college.
Reviewing learning strategies and achievements
List three different strategies used in your setting to support pupils in reviewing their learning. Give actual examples where possible. Consider peer-assessment and self-assessment in your answers.
1. Formative Assessment.
By measuring their learning against the learning objectives as the group progress tutors can make a formative assessment of the learners. This is part of the ongoing activities in the classroom and provides the tutor with information to plan future lessons for the learners.
2. Summative Assessment
Summative assessment is achieved using exams, tests etc. carried out at the end of a period of learning and summarises the learning achieved by the learners. A summative assessment can also be made up from the formative assessments that have taken place throughout a period of learning.
3. Assessment for learning
Assessment for learning is the process of interpreting results and evidence of student learning. This information is used to decide what level learners are at, what they need to achieve and how best to attain it. It should be an ongoing part of learning and teaching in any educational setting. It is used to increase student achievement. Assessment for learning is based on the belief that students will advance more if they understand the aims of their learning, how much more they need to do and how they can get there.
Write a reflective statement below about when you have encouraged pupils to communicate their needs and ideas for future learning. At the beginning of each academic year we ask our learners to take an initial assessment in Maths and English. This gives us a starting point to understand their learning to date with these subjects. It also guides us to be place students to achieve more and excel in their chosen courses. After this initial assessment our learners set goals for their individual learning plan. During this time we use the initial assessments and the other information we have on students to discuss their results and reflect on where they feel they need to work more.
During this time learners will often communicate areas of need and indicate where and why they have struggled previously. This provides us with future targets and often leads to a discussion on what the learner would like to achieve and more on to at the end of their course. We ensure that the goals they set are SMART i.e. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Result based and Timed. This is ensures that not only that the learner can progress increase their knowledge and confidence encouraging them to want to attain more and more. This also enables the learner to reflect on their progress and feel more confident as they see their progression.
Reflecting on your contribution to assessment for learning
Following learning activities, ask yourself the questions – ‘have I enabled pupils to take more responsibility for their learning experience? Has my approach worked and did it influence their learning? Was my feedback constructive?’ Below is a ‘Best Practice’ checklist for providing feedback. Select two of the listed points and write a reflective account to show how you have reflected and improved in these areas.
BEST PRACTICE CHECKLIST: Providing feedback
. Remain non-judgemental
. Focus on strengths
. Work through one thing at a time
. Give constructive advice
. Provide guidance on how to improve
. Link feedback directly to what has been observed or written .
Give constructive advice
While working with students I ensure that we discuss their progress with any task they are set. All advice should be constructive so I have to ensure the words I use or the examples I provide students are constructive. I am careful to avoid language or words that can be misinterpreted as negative and ensure that my body language is also encouraging rather than critical. For example with a student, who I knew was sensitive about getting things wrong, I started some feedback with the words ‘I sometimes read too fast and would have made the same mistake too probably. But if you look here you will see ….’ My comment highlighted the need to slow down reading, read with care and ensured that they didn’t feel I was judging them. End Positively
At the end of sessions I make sure to point out areas of work that learners have done well in. I find at least one positive point for each student so they can positively reflect on what they have achieved in the session.