Assessment and Learner Essay
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1.1 Explain the function of assessment in learning and development
The function of assessment in learning and development is to provide a measure for the learners progress.
Assessment is carried out through checks throughout the course, and at end of course. activities can help the learner to see their development whilst allowing the Assessor to give valuable feedback when appropriate. This is to measure the learners understanding of the subject set by the criteria.
For example: Assessments provide clear measurements and recording of achievements gained during a course that provides identification of the persons achievements or learners needs.
The learners development is measured using formative or summative assessments that meets the criteria and reflects the required standards.
The purpose is to monitor developments through evidence that can be collected and used as performance review/ targets/ benchmarking throughout a course.
From an Assessors point of view it is best to ensure that assessment decisions are reviewed and internally/externally verified where possible.
When assessing a learner initially a lot can be gained from their induction paperwork, grammar, spelling word punctuation, are there any signs of dyslexia also does their current job role suit the level of diploma they are aiming to ascertain. These are a guide that can be undertaken before any commitment is sourced from either party.
1.2 Define the key concepts and principles of assessment
The key concepts and principles of assessments are:
Fairness – Assessment must be objective and relate to the criteria stated by the examining body. Internal and External checks are needed at regular stages to ensure the validity of the assessment decisions are made.
Reliability – The assessment decisions must be by an assessor who is qualified to ensure a fair and reliable outcome is reached.
Validity – Decisions must be justified with clear referencing of the assessment stated by the examining body. Another Assessor should be able to award the same grade for the piece of work as the same standardization method is used and not just the opinion of the assessor.
Safety – Assessment methods must be suitable for the persons needs. For example, a learner must have an option for an alternative whereby a mental or physical threat to their well-being could be presented by the assessment.
Risk assessments of locations my assessments will take place and to extend the learners understanding of health and safety whilst helping them help me make our learning space everyone’s responsibility.
Negotiation with learners to differentiated methods is a useful way to help the learner feel safer in their assessment by managing suitable alternatives to the candidate needs. The key being to identify specific assessment requirements and acting accordingly whilst maintaining that the learners well being is the most important factor.
Purpose The aim, reason, and purpose of assessment is to help the learner track their progress, provide feedback, and inspire them to achieve. The trainer gains evidence of learning from assessment which can in turn be measured clearly against a criteria. This continuous assessment learning/ training cycle is designed to recognize prior learning and improve it with each assessment. The assessor grades the work so the trainer (if someone different from the assessor) can see the distance traveled on the course when compared to grades throughout the pro-gramme.
1.3 Explain the responsibilities of the assessor
The key responsibilities of the Assessor can be best defined in three categories:
Planning – Organising and scheduling plans is an essential part of an Assessors job. Providing regular formative checks on learning and summative grading of work provides structure.
Assessing – Marking the work and providing a grade can give a standardised assessment against which the Assessor can measure the understanding, and the learner can measure their progress. Using the criteria from Edexcel I have the responsibility to assess fairly, objectively, and precisely using provided clear guidelines to grade a learners work. Assessments provide a great chance for the learners to see how they have progressed whilst providing grades that can be recognised against objective criteria.
Feeding back – I have a responsibility to provide detailed analytical and constructive feedback on a learners work so they can improve their performance according to pointers. This is crucial as it allows the learner to measure when an objective has been achieved and also when the assessment objective has to be revisited. It is essential to provide regular feed back verbally and in recorded formats for the learner so as to provide markers on the work produced and how it can improved in the future. The responsibilities of the Assessor involve planning, managing and delivering assessment, maintaining the integrity of the qualification, and always keeping a learner-centered approach to assessment.
2.1 Compare the strengths and limitations of a range of assessment methods with reference to the needs of individual learners
Observation allows a chance to view the learner communication and professional team-skills of the learner demonstrating their understanding verbally/ physically in a professional context they will encounter again. This provides opportunity for the learner to review the work for developmental purposes whilst providing the Assessor with an opportunity to capture engagement with the learner in questioning throughout a set task. Questioning is a quick way to check on learning and ensure a learner is engaged and content with the objective being developed. I use a range of methods in accordance with my Learner Profile so as not isolate/ worry/ un-necessarily fill my learners with the fear that I experienced as a student. I feel that using differentiated socratic questioning (‘do you agree with…’, ‘…what do you think?’, ‘you made a good point in your essay about…’) I can stitch together a conversation using different levels of contribution from every one verbally. The key drawback to this can be learners having a limited inauthentic experience of the full realistic scenario they are being trained for and may therefore not take the situation as seriously.
Witness testimony can be an invaluable way of capturing evidence of learners engaged in practical tasks and can be evidenced with written/ witness authentication cross-referenced with the criteria the activity is addressing. Projects provide great ways to set the assessment in a professional/ vocational context while allowing the learners to gain work experience in their field. The beginning, middle, end structure of the assessment provides clear stages for formative feedback, reflection, and a chance to develop team-work skills. It is important to recognise the learners prior learning/ occupational performance so as to differentiate tasks and ensure that every one is engaged at all stages of the project.
Written provides a learner with a chance to convey understanding in text format. This is a traditional form of assessment that many learners will be familiar with and is a comfortable way to demonstrate learning, Learners with dyslexia and other difficulties can struggle with written tasks so it is important to break Assignments in to small chunks and offer guidance with regards to structure and shaping of a Report. Audio is a useful and time-efficient way to store and record feedback of a students work that can be played back on headphones as the student looks back over and reflects on their work.
3.1 Summarise key factors to consider when planning assessment The learner must have had sufficient time leading up to the assessment, opportunity for reflection and revision, and feedback from the assessor in formative tasks so as to prepare the learner for the assessment. Recognising prior learning of the learner is important here so gauging the understanding of the learner through methods/ activities such as observation in performance and/or evidence through discussion can provide the assessor with evidence of just how much each learner knows already/ how to pitch the assessment. This helps the assessor create assignments that are original, challenging, engaging, and able to build upon what is already known by a new cohort. Beginning with the initial assessment a learner can be tested for literacy, numeracy, and ICT skills prior to being accepted on a course.
This helps the programme leaders determine the suitability of the candidate whilst gathering pre-course quantitative data that can inform the Learner Profile for the student at the organisation. This in turn helps the assessor build up the data relating to previous learning, assessment needs, and other crucial information such as learner ambitions, which will help the assessor design relevant, fair, testing assessments for the learner. Formative feedback is important for the learner as often as is possible in the construction of a scheme of work. Tests, questioning, informal assessments, and observations can be used to gather evidence of a learners progress and understanding of a subject. The summative assessment needs to provide an opportunity for the learner at the end of a Unit or course to show as much of their learning as possible. The tasks should be suitable for both the less and more able students with opportunities for the learner to demonstrate how much they have learnt from the lectures and formative assessments leading up to this assessment.
3.3 Explain how to plan a holistic approach to assessment In planning a holistic assessment I would begin by using the examining body criteria from their website as a reference point to help me construct an assignment that clearly meets the outcomes listed. I would speak to my learners to find out what they would like to do and begin shaping ways for the learners to achieve the outcomes via project based evidence that has the candidate involved. In order to provide opportunities for each learner to flourish in a project, and to therefore obtain the best possible holistic grade, I would include a range of assessment tasks ranging from Observations to Essays. This allows me to break my Assignment in to small chunks and provide a differentiated approach to achieving the criteria. For example, a learner may struggle with written work but excel in a recorded log and Presentation elements of the Assignment and so still have a chance to achieve. I would therefore ensure that the Assignment is related to a specific vocational context and tied to industry