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Theory Assignment- Enabling learning through assessment Essay

Unit 5 (424): Theory Assignment- Enabling learning through assessment 1. Describe, use and evaluate two different assessment activities used to check the learning of either individuals or a group of learners There are a variety of assessment activities that can be used to check the learning of either individuals or a group of learners. It is important to note the difference between assessment methods and activities at this point. Assessment methods are different ways in which you can assess learners (Tummons, 2011). Upon exploring assessment methods, it is clear that there are a vast variety of ways to check the learning of the learners within your learning environment; discussions, observations, role plays and essays are all ways in which learners can be assessed (Reece, I & Walker, S. 2007). Assessment activities are the specific activity that is used to assess; for example, a quiz on Psychodynamic Development is an assessment activity, and the method is a quiz.

As stated by Black and William (1998, cited in Armitage et al, 2012:183): ‘An assessment activity can help learning if it provides information to be used as feedback, by teachers, and by their pupils, in assessing themselves and each other, to modify that teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged.’ This is an important concept that I have kept in mind when creating assessment activities for learners. For this part of the assignment, I will be exploring two different assessment activities. When exploring assessment, it is important to have a clear assessment strategy that relates to the aims and objectives of the course (Petty, G. 2009). Practitioners should consider the purposes of assessment, what is being assessed, who will assess, how assessment to be done is and what will happen as a result of the assessment (Petty, G. 2009). With regards to AS Level and A level Psychology, which is the primary subject that I teach, from research and exploration of assessment I have been able to identify assessment methods that will benefit the learners the most, and through this, I have designed assessment activities.

I have had the opportunity to explore and use peer assessment as an assessment method increasingly during the AS and A level Psychology course. An activity that was used for assessment was for learners within the group to mark each other’s answers within the Individual Differences; Assessment For Learning Booklet (see appendix one) (as referenced in Session Plan 14 and 15: Abnormality). As stated within the booklet title, this assessment activity is formative and designed to assess learners work throughout the course.

Within this activity, learners had to swop booklets with another learner, and mark their work according to the AQA Specification Mark Scheme that was given to them. Learners then had to feedback to their peers about their work, and had key questions given to them to consider when giving feedback, that learners had to ask the peer whose work they had been marking. This included: How do you think you have done?

What areas do you feel you need to improve on? (This could be not just in relation to the topic, but to their handwriting, grammar, their timing for each question etc….) What areas do you feel confident in?

(After having given the feedback)

Do you think the mark given reflects the work you have done? If yes, why? If not, why not? Can you now identify three areas of improvement following this feedback, including a time scale for when it needs to be achieved? The booklet itself includes at the beginning, information on how the work is assessed and a sample mark scheme so that learners can understand clearly how their work is being assessed. This is important in order to ensure that learners have a clear understanding of assessment and how this booklet is used within that process (Armitage et al, 2012). The assessment cycle is also clearly labelled within the booklet and it is explained underneath how the feedback will benefit the learner. It is important for learners to understand why they are being assessed, and the criteria against which they are assessed, so that they clearly understand the purpose of this assessment activity (Reece, I & Walker, S. 2007). This booklet was designed specifically to ensure that learners were able to understand clearly assessment criteria, as well as content, and to identify any areas of concern quickly so that learners were supported effectively during the course; in order for any learner to learn, they mustn’t feel de-motivated or overwhelmed as this will have a negative impact on their ability and performance (Pollard, 2002).

Learners on the course that used this booklet have commented on its usefulness in terms of assessment, and have highlighted its clarity as a positive factor. Through completing this assessment activity, learners did ask questions about particular parts of the booklet that their peers had answered. Many found it difficult to complete due to the complexity of the questions and there not being one right answer. This led to confusion and some learners feeling overwhelmed. In future, I would ensure that activities that were peer assessed had closed questions and that the focus was on the feedback given as opposed to the actual marking, as the feedback using a peer assessment method is more important than the work they are assessing. However, doing this activity through peer assessment enabled quick feedback to take place, which is an important principle of assessment (Reece, I & Walker, S. 2007).

Whilst this booklet was originally designed as an assessment activity for me to mark learner’s work, throughout the topic and using information and research gleaned as a result of continuing the DTLLS course, I was able to explore assessment methods and was able to use peer assessment as a way for learners to enhance their own knowledge of assessment also. When exploring the booklet used as an assessment activity in more detail, it is clear that, following research into assessment, that there were different ways that this could have been administered. There has been a lot of research that shows that if work is graded as opposed to highlighting areas of development and areas completed well, learners focus more on this than what they have done well and what they need to improve (Petty, 2009).

In future, I would not use grading within this booklet first; I would ask learners to peer assess looking for areas of improvement and areas that learners have completed well. This is also known as a medal and a mission (Petty, 2009). This would ensure that learners are focused on aspects of the topics at hand, and how to individually excel and improve; as opposed to comparing themselves against others due to a grade they have been given. This would also hopefully increase their motivation and self-esteem, which are both key factors in improving teaching and learning (Pollard, 2002).

The booklet was designed to identify strengths and weaknesses of individual learners, as well as providing them with an overall indicator of their progress, which are both purposes of assessment (Garfield, J. 1994). This ensured that the assessment activity had clear criteria as to why it was being used. This was shared with learners so that they had a clear understanding of the purpose of assessment. Purposes of assessment will be discussed in more detail later on in this assignment.

The second assessment activity I will be exploring is ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’ quiz designed to test learner’s knowledge on definitions of abnormality and the biological approach (from Session Plan 7 and 8: Abnormality). This quiz was in the format of the quiz show ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’ and was designed in this manner to engage learners in the topic in a fun manner (see appendix two for exemplar question from game). All learners participated in this; most learners gave the correct answer to the early questions on the quiz, but part of this quiz covers further topics in Abnormality that learners haven’t yet covered in lessons. The reason for using this quiz is that research supports new knowledge being acquired in activities outside of the topic but within the frame of reference (Pollard, A. 2002).

I also felt more confident using interactive quizzes after I had accumulated knowledge through DTLLS Days covering assessment and resources. Learners had to think harder about these answers, and it was clear which learners engaged in independent study outside of the sessions based on answers given. Some learners were able to answer questions on biological approach correctly, which shows me their commitment to the subject. I asked these learners what they do outside of the lesson with regards to Psychology; some learners stated that they enjoyed the subject so wanted to read ahead, and the booklets that I had given them enabled them to research information effectively as they knew what topics were coming next. With regards to assessment, it is clear that if learners have clear criteria for what they are being assessed on, and are able to put it into context, they are more able to achieve their full potential (Tummons, 2011). I found this feedback useful and will be doing this in future topics so learners can challenge themselves outside of the classroom and gain more knowledge.

This assessment activity had a variety of multiple choice questions that explored definitions of abnormality and the biological approach. In order for me to able to assess each individual’s progress within this topic, all learners had to write down independently of each other the answer to the question. We then went through the questions together. Learners were given the opportunity to check their own answers and ask follow up questions if they were confused or did not understand something. The way in which this assessment activity was administered ensured firstly, that all learners had the opportunity to answer questions independently so that they could check their own knowledge. It also gave all learners privacy; no other learner had to know what each other had answered on their paper, which ensured all learners were able to feel comfortable within the learning environment. This is more likely to increase participation and engagement within the topic, as there is no unnecessary pressure on learners (Pollard, 2002).

When completing assessment activities, it is important for practitioners to identify what activity they are using and what they hope to gain by using it (Tummons, 2011). This assessment activity allowed me to do two things; firstly, I could assess individually by allowing all learners to complete questions independently in written form, and then as a whole class, I could assess group interaction skills, as well as ensuring that all learners knew the answers, thereby increasing their knowledge base, by the end of the session. By using multiple choice questions within the quiz, I was able to quickly assess if individuals had acquired the correct information (Hillier, 2005). This enabled me to provide quick feedback and ensure that those questions that learners were having difficulty answering were explored in more detail when going through the quiz as a whole class.

However, as all multiple choice answers contain the right answer, learners may be getting the question right through luck as opposed to knowledge (Hillier, 2005). It is important that I ensure follow up questions are used to ensure that learners have acquired this information through knowledge and not luck. It is important that assessment activities are valid, up to date and sufficient (Petty, 2009). The ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ Quiz is based on a game show that is relatively current and that all learners in my class had experience of, and the questions on the quiz were in direct relation to the topic that they had been exploring and gaining knowledge of. Through researching assessment, its purposes, types, principles and methods, I have gained invaluable knowledge that has enabled me to create assessment activities that are purposeful, valid, up to date and will enable me to accurately assess learner’s knowledge.

2. Analyse the purpose of assessment and produce a written justification of your chosen assessment methods In order to analyse the purpose of assessment, it is important to explore assessment’s place within teaching and learning. Assessment is a key element within the learning cycle, as shown below:

(Gravells, 2012)

When looking at this cycle, it appears that assessment should only happen at one stage of the cycle. However, much research spanning over 20 years supports assessment taking place throughout the cycle, and has been identified as a key competent in teaching and learning within the classroom (Petty, 2009. Pollard, 2002. Biggs, J. 1998). As such, there has been extensive development of assessment cycles, such as the one shown below:

Gravells (2012:112)

These cycles have an important place within teaching and learning, due to the high importance of assessment. Assessment has become increasingly important in education due to two main factors; governments introduced boundaries and standards in the early 1990’s, in which schools and establishments are measured against each other comparatively, as well as ‘increasing realisation of the value of continuous assessment in informing teaching and improving learning’ (Pollard, 2002: 309). The value of assessment within the classroom has been found to be of significance in a variety of ways; for example, studies have shown that frequent assessment feedback helps students enhance their learning, particularly those with low attainment and learning disabilities (Fuchs et al, 1997, cited in Black, P & William, D. 1998). In fact, many studies have been published that show ‘that innovations which include strengthening the practice of formative assessment produce significant and often substantial gains.’ (Black, P & William, D. 1998:3).

To this end, in order to become an experienced practitioner within education, it is of high importance that assessment is understood and used effectively. The purpose of assessment is wide and varied, but can most simply be described as to improve learner’s learning and teacher’s teaching (Hillier, Y. 2005). It also measures breadth and depth of learning (Petty, G. 2009). It has been stated that ‘The primary purpose of any student assessment should be to improve student learning’ (Garfield, J 1994:1). In order for this to be completed successfully, it is important to explore the different types of assessment and their purposes in relation to assessment as a whole. The assessment types most commonly used are initial, summative and formative, which can be completed either formally or informally (Gravells, 2012). Initial assessment can best be described as assessment that takes place at the beginning of a course or topic, Summative assessment is usually at the end of a course or topic (also known as Assessment Of Learning), and Formative assessment takes place during a course or topic (also known as Assessment For Learning). For this part of the assignment, each of these types of assessments will be explored in detail in terms of their purpose.

The purpose of initial assessment encompasses a variety of factors, such as establishing prior knowledge; identifying learner’s needs, and understanding their background (Gravells, 2012). Initial assessment has a high importance, as without taking into account the factors above, it is unlikely you will be able to teach this learner effectively. As stated by Petty (2009:530): ‘the assumption now is that all students can learn if they are placed on the right programme, taught in the way they can learn, and given any help and support they might need.’ In order to ascertain whether learners are placed on the right programme, diagnostic assessment may be used. Diagnostic assessment is another type of assessment used within teaching and learning, and normally takes place during initial assessment; the purpose of this is to diagnose whether individuals are ready and able to embark on a particular programme or course (Hillier, 2005).

If this is completed effectively, it enables learners to achieve their full potential and progress within learning. Formative assessment (also known as Assessment For Learning) is largely seen as the assessment type that has the most impact on a learner’s ability to acquire knowledge (Pollard, 2002). Some professionals have even gone as far as to state that ‘’the main purpose for assessment is the formative purpose.’ (Biggs, J. 1998). Without formative assessment taking place regularly throughout a course or topic, it is very easy for practitioner’s to miss important information about their learner’s; practitioners need to ensure that learners are understanding course content, that their needs are being met throughout the course or topic, and that learners are progressing and achieving their full potential (Pollard, 2002). Formative assessment is also likely to have the most impact on social and emotional wellbeing, as through formative assessment, learners can progress and acquire a variety of life skills, such as working in teams, working independently, organisation, motivation and active listening (Falchikov, N. 2005).

If practitioners recognise the importance of formative assessment and its purpose, their learners will be able to progress and achieve. Medals and missions are an example of a way in which formative assessment can be used to promote learning and self-improvement; they can also be used to ensure that learners are commended in what they are doing well (a medal) and supported in where they are going wrong (a mission) (Petty, 2009). Both medals and missions support the purpose of assessment, and if completed right, can have a significant positive impact on learner’s progress. Practitioners should be aware of the principles of assessment, particularly formative assessment, is this is the most used type of assessment in relation to a course or topic; whilst initial and summative assessment are used at the beginning and end of a course respectively, formative assessment should be taking place consistently throughout the course (Black P & William, D. 1998).

In relation to formative assessment, it is important to ensure that three basic principles are followed; 1. Use of short term informal assessment- this could be question and answer but also homework based written questions, and feedback should be geared more towards improvement rather than grading the work. 2. Providing rapid feedback- this ensures feedback is as effective as possible, and should encompass question and answer as well as self-improvement noted by learners themselves. 3. Ensure that feedback gives motivation to students- it is important recognise the manner in which feedback is given and ensure that this is positive and encouraging; highlighted what has been done well and support where the learner needs to improve. (Reece, I & Walker, S. 2007)

Teachers and practitioners need to ensure that they develop these principles of assessment if assessment is to be effective within the teaching and learning environment. The purpose of formative assessment is to inform teaching within a learning environment, and ultimately, to improve learning (Angelo, T. & Cross, P. 1993). This can include a variety of methods, such as questioning, essays, role plays, quizzes and observations (Reece, I & Walker, S 2007). Practitioners should ensure that in order to effectively formatively assess, that it is ongoing throughout a course, and that it is used to feedback to learners about their performance and progress so that they are able to fully achieve; this is supported by research, as William and Black (1996, cited in Angelo, T. & Cross, P. 1993) identified feedback as a component to formative assessment. Teachers must ensure that feedback is specific and relevant, and gives learners the opportunity to improve; in the words of Petty (2009:481) ‘formative assessment must be informative assessment.’

Otherwise, the purpose of formative assessment is lost. Summative assessment (also known as Assessment Of Learning) takes place at the end of a course or topic, and is used primarily to grade attainment of learners and make judgements about individual student achievement, as well as contribute to the effectiveness of courses and teacher performance on that course (Petty, 2009). This can take place through a variety of methods, such as tests, exams, and coursework (Angelo, T. & Cross, P. 1993). The purpose of summative assessment, whilst relatively clear compared to formative assessment, is such that if it is not conducted accurately, can have the biggest impact on courses, topics and programmes (Falchikov, N. 2005). It is important that summative assessment is completed accurately, and that learners are graded correctly in order for teachers to ascertain whether specific elements of the course or programme need to be reviewed or changed. It is important to note the links between initial, formative and summative assessment here; if initial assessment is not carried out accurately, and learners are not subject to formative assessment and regular feedback on their work, it is highly unlikely that summative assessment will be correct in relation to the learner and the course or programme.

Whilst it is important to ensure that practitioners are fully aware of the purpose of assessment and are supported to assess regularly for the benefit of the practitioner, learners and institution, it is important that teaching and learning practice within the learning environment fulfills this. Evidence suggests from studies carried out on differing perceptions of assessment between tutors and students in a classroom environment, whilst ‘staff declared a commitment to the formative purposes of assessment and maintained that the full range of learning was frequently assessed, they engaged in practices which militated against formative assessment and authentic assessment being fully realised.’ (MacLellan, E 2001). Practitioners should ensure that they are using assessment methods that are in line with purposeful assessment to ensure that all parties benefit from effective assessment. This is supported by Boston (2002:2) who stated that ‘Since the goal of formative assessment is to gain an understanding of what students know and don’t know in order to make responsive changes in teaching and learning, techniques such as teacher observation and classroom discussion have an important place alongside analysis of tests and homework.’

Through exploring assessment and its purpose in relation to teaching and learning, practitioners will be able to identify those assessment methods that learners are most likely to benefit from. During this part of the assignment, I will be analysing in more detail two assessment methods. In part one of this assignment, I described, used and evaluated two assessment activities. Within this part of the assignment, I am going to explore and justify the two assessment methods that were used to create those assessment activities; peer assessment, and quizzes. Peer assessment is an assessment method whereby learners mark each other’s work and provide feedback (Gravells, 2012). When using peer assessment methods within my teaching and learning practice, it is important to ensure that learners not only mark each other’s work, but are part of engagement in feedback and how to further improve. Advantages of using peer assessment are considerable, especially if the learner has to use what they have learned to plan action for improvement (Black. P. William, D. 1998).

This is evident within the peer assessment method used for the assessment activity described in part one of this assignment, whereby learners marked each other’s work and provided immediate feedback. Peer assessment has also been shown to help students to clarify goals, and about making judgements about a peer’s work which enables them to have a clearer understanding of the subject matter (Petty, 2009). Within my current schemes of work for AS and A Level Psychology, I have ensured that I have used a range of resources and teaching and learning approaches to enable peer assessment to take place more regularly. For example, within Psychodynamic Approaches and Therapies Scheme of Work, learners are to complete a Freudian Questionnaire and then mark each other’s work. Learners are then to provide a medal and a mission to the learner whose work they are marking. This enables the learner to analyse other’s work, and provide constructive and accurate feedback to each other. Peer assessment has been shown to even double attainment (Petty, 2009). This is due to a variety of factors, such as peer assessment enabling students to develop a self-critical and reflective habit of mind, increasing student’s effort and persistence, and developing a sense of ownership, responsibility and accountability (Tummons, 2011). Peer assessment is also a justified assessment method as it reduces teacher assessment, promote student and peer involvement and increase focus and attention (Gravells, A. Simpson, S. 2010).

It is important to note that, when using peer assessment methods, that I am aware of peers comfortableness and confidence in marking other learner’s work, to ensure feedback is objective not subjective and that the assessment criteria is clearly understood by all learners (Gravells, 2012). The second assessment method I have used is quizzes; this is an informal assessment method that assesses learning in a fun way (Gravells, 2012). The reason that I use quizzes as an assessment method is that it can be used as a back-up activity if learners have finished their current work, which enables them to remain focused and ensures that they are completing work that is relevant (Gravells, 2012). It also enables me to assess quickly which learners are grasping the concept or topic and which learners need more support (Petty, 2009). Throughout my schemes of work, I ensure that I incorporate quizzes; abnormality, disorders, and drug treatments have all been assessed through the form of a quiz. A quiz is a justifiable assessment method due to a variety of factors; the multiple choice questions that are used within the quizzes enable me to give fast feedback to learners and quickly identify what topics I need to spend more time on so that learners do not feel overwhelmed or under challenged (Reece, I & Walker, S 2007).

However, it does not enable me to assess student’s level of understanding, or their ability to apply their knowledge to a given situation (Gravells, 2012). As long as I ensure that this assessment method is used for the right reasons i.e. quick identification of what a learner knows, I can ensure its validity and accuracy with regards to assessment. Overall, it is important to ensure that as a practitioner, you have a high level of knowledge with regards to assessment; how it is used, what it is used for and methods of assessment to ensure that it is valid, current, equal, sufficient and accurate. It is also important to develop holistic approaches towards assessment as well as discovering further attributes to assessment and the way in which it can develop learners.

Boud (2000: 1) discusses the idea of sustainable assessment within lifelong learning; ‘Sustainable assessment encompasses the knowledge, skills, and predispositions required to underpin lifelong learning activities……. (and) can similarly be defined as assessment that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of students to meet their own future needs.’ Without a clear understanding and implementation of the variety assessment methods and types, as well as how it can develop a learner socially, emotionally and academically, it is unlikely that you as a practitioner will be able to encourage your learners to reach their full potential. As stated by Elton and Johnson (2002, cited in Falchikov, 2005:32) ‘traditional assessment practices…… cannot adequately test for imponderables like independent critical thinking, creativity, etc….

3. Using an extract from your Teaching Practice Portfolio, write and reflect on: a) How your feedback has informed your learners’ progress and achievement; Feedback within the teaching and learning environment is an important aspect of assessment; ‘Assessment in higher education is commonly held to contribute to feedback to students on their learning and the certification of their achievement.’ (Boud, D & Falchikov, N. 2007: 399). Feedback is an important aspect of teaching and learning, so that learners understand how they are progressing (Gravells, 2010, pg 124). Not only is feedback important, the quality of feedback is paramount to ensure progression and motivation in learners. As stated by Burrell and Bupp, ‘Feedback improves learning when it gives specific information on strengths and weaknesses of the work in relation to the learning objectives, and provides guidance on how to improve.’ (2000, cited in Pollard, 2002, pg 315). There is a variety of ways in which my feedback has informed my learners’ progress and achievement.

Throughout teaching and learning in the classroom environment, teachers should ensure that they are giving quality feedback, and giving specific examples of good work or areas that need to be improved. For example, within my teaching, I ensure that I provide opportunity for feedback within lessons; ‘I was able to provide constructive feedback to learners one on one as well as a group, supporting their discussion and providing appropriate feedback so that learners were able to identify if they were completing the activity correctly, and support and guidance given to them if they were not.’ (Session 4 and 5 Abnormality, 25/03/14). This ensures that learners have clear ideas on where they are doing well and where they need to improve. This particular quote was in relation to a PowerPoint presentation that I was using as a method of delivering knowledge to learners within my classroom. It is also important to give learners guidance, advice and support on how to improve, so learners do not feel overwhelmed or stuck.

At the same time, teachers need to balance guidance and support with learner’s ability to be self-motivated and encourage independent learning (Petty, 2009). Following on from research into feedback to learners, I had ensured during this session that there was ‘more opportunity for discussion than previous sessions, so that I could identify where learners were struggling and whether they were feeling confident with the subject knowledge.’ (Session 4 and 5 Abnormality, 25/03/14). Learners have become more reassured in the acquisition of their knowledge due to continuous and relevant feedback from me, and this has enabled them to become more confident, more engaged and has increased their motivation.

This is supported by research on relevant and continuous feedback as having a positive impact on learner’s engagement (Petty, 2009, Pollard, 2002). This is also supported within self evaluations in my teaching file; ‘Within the session plans that I have created, I have given myself various opportunities to assess learners. Having explored the difference between formal and informal assessment has enabled me to become more confident in how I assess learners; I use a variety of informal assessments throughout my session plans, and this is more common than formal assessment in relation to the Positively Girls Session.’ (Session 7 and 8, Positively Girls Course, 27/06/14).

b) How feedback from others has informed your own professional practice.

Feedback from others has also informed my own professional practice. Following an observed lesson on Positively Girls Course; Session Two (24/06/14), constructive feedback given from my tutor has informed my own practice in many ways. Feedback given to me reassured me in the way in which I was delivering the session; I had ‘introduced the session, linking to previous sessions…… checked understanding of ideas and words……. (Observation Report, Session Two, Positively Girls Course, 24/06/14). I also enabled learners to critically think due to the activities that they were engaging in the session, thereby enabling learners to access higher order thinking skills. I was also able to develop the way in which I carry out assessment following feedback from not just colleagues, but the learners themselves. It is important to get feedback on the type of assessment used by the learner, as it gives learners a sense of purpose, and guides you as a teacher to getting the most out of your learners (Pollard, 2002).

Learners within my classroom have provided feedback to me with regards to assessment. They have stated that they find the regular feedback useful for identifying any areas of concern and areas where they can improve. They also feel that it is good practice for them to embed their own knowledge and to increase independent learning skills that they will need later in life. For example, from Positively Girls Course Session Seven and Eight (27/06/14), learners were asked for their feedback on the sessions that they had completed. Learners had stated that ‘it was quite overwhelming to discuss the variety of issues that were discussed.’ This has enabled me to research the topics and break up the sessions over a longer period of time for future sessions to ensure that learners were able to access the information, gain knowledge, and not feel overwhelmed, thereby enabling any assessment that is to be carried out to be done so that learners can achieve their full potential and acquire knowledge successfully and in a more realistic time frame. This is supported by research into motivation and learners attitudes towards assessment (Tummons, 2011).

Learners have also commented on activities used to carry out assessment; ‘Learners found flip chart boring, but stated that the booklet used was informative, colourful, easy to use and easy to understand.’(Self Evaluation, Session 5 and 6, Relationships, 25/06/14). This feedback has enabled me to review activities for assessment for the next set of learners on the course, as well as for further topics within A Level Psychology for the learners who provided the feedback above. It is important that learners engage with assessment activities, and understand the relevance of them, in terms of their own learning and progression (Reece, I. & Walker, S. 2007) Through the DTLLS course that I am currently completing, I have been able to assess how I am using assessment within my practice and how I can improve; ‘I recognise more and more the importance of assessment, and am more aware of how I use assessment and the effectiveness of this within my session plans and on how learners learn………

For example, written English ensures that I have evidence of concepts that learners have grasped and how effectively they have managed to do so, and this feeds into future session plans. I also observe learners when they are peer assessing, completing activities through role play or discussion so I can see informally how learners are getting to grips with knowledge and whether they are able to apply it effectively.’ (Session 7 and 8, Positively Girls Course, 27/06/14). It is important that feedback is constructive, as this enables opportunities to be created for clarification and discussion, places more emphasis on progression for learner, and can identify further action that needs to be taken (Gravells, 2012).

Feedback should be a two way process between the learner and the teacher, to ensure that there is room for discussion. Feedback should be descriptive, and should enable you to identify what the learner has done, their achievement within the work and what they can do to progress (Gravells, 2012). Feedback is an important part of assessment, and as a result, it is important to ensure that we as practitioners are using feedback regularly within our teaching practice as well as acquiring feedback from colleagues, tutors and learners where possible to improve our own practice.

Angelo, T. Cross, P. (1993) (2nd Edn) Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc Armitage et al (2012) (4th Edn) Teaching and Training in Lifelong Learning London: Open University Press Biggs, J (1998) ‘Assessment and Classroom Learning, a role for Summative Assessment?’ Assessment in Education; Principles, Policy and Practice 5:1 Black. P. William, D. (1998) Inside the Black Box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. London; GL Assessment. Boston, C (2002) ‘The Concept of Formative Assessment.’ ERIC Digest 11:4 Boud, D (2000) ‘Sustainable Assessment: rethinking assessment for the learning
society’ Studies in Continuing Education, 22:2 Boud, D & Falchikov, N. (2007) ‘Aligning Assessment with long-term learning.’ Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 31:4, 399-413 Falchikov, N. (2005) Improving Assessment Through Student Involvement Oxon: Routledge-Farmer Garfield, B (1994) ‘Beyond Testing and Grading: using Assessment to Improve Students Learning’. Journal of Statistics Education, 2:1 Gravells, A (2012) Preparing To Teach In The Lifelong Learning Sector. London: Routledge. Gravells, A. Simpson, S. (2010) (2nd Edn) Planning and Enabling Learning in the Lifelong Learning Sector. Exeter: Learning Matters Hiller, Y (2005) Reflective Teaching in Further and Adult Education. Continuum; London. MacLellan, E. (2001) ‘Assessment for Learning: the differing perceptions of tutors and students.’ Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 26:4 Petty, G (2009) (4th Edn) Teaching Today. London: Cheltenham Nelson Thornes. Pollard, A (2002) Reflective Teaching. London: Routledge.

Reece, I. Walker, S. (2007) (6th Edn) Teaching, training and learning: A Practical Guide. Tyne and Wear: Business Education Publishers Ltd. Tummons, J (2011) (3rd Edn) Assessing Learning in the Lifelong Learning Sector London: Learning Matters

Appendix One: PSYA2 Individual Differences; Assessment For Learning Booklet

Appendix Two: ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ Quiz

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