The following are headings for broad areas students will have to research to show evidence of competence in PTLLS.
Roles and responsibilities and relationships in lifelong learning
Understanding inclusive learning and teaching in lifelong learning
Using inclusive learning and teaching approaches in lifelong learning
Principle of assessment in lifelong learning
My role as a Lifelong learning professional is to ensure legislative requirements are met.
Some of these legislations are generic and affect all who teach, whereas some are subject (or environment) specific. (Gravells 2012:19-22) These legislations include but not limited to the following:
Organisational guidelines such as dress code and punctuality
My key responsibility is to ensure my workplace have a current copy of my CRB as this clearly gives me the right to come in contact with children, young and vulnerable adults.
It’s beneficial to become a registered member of the IfL and abide by its codes and conduct as well as my or company’s organisational procedures. This Code was developed by the profession for the profession and it outlines the behaviours expected of members for the benefit of learners, employers, the profession and the wider community.
The Equality Act (2010), which harmonises some 20 previous pieces of Equalities legislation, is important within the lifelong learning sector and helps ensure accessibility to learning with a view to equality and diversity.
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act (1974), negligence by an individual can lead to their personal prosecution, not just the organisation they work for. HSE at work requires me to take reasonable care of my health and safety and that of others who may be affected by what I do at work, cooperate with my employers on HSE matters and take necessary trainings especially training relating to me field which is Science. Also inform my employers of any concern I have relating to health and safety. As Gravells says: “Learners are entitled to learn in a safe and healthy Environment” (Gravells 2012:29).
The Copyright Designs and Patents Act (1988) are relevant in a teaching environment. The materials I use to teach learners must either be produced by me, or I must ensure that I and or my organisation have permission to use such materials.
Another important piece of legislation to consider is the Data Protection Act (2003). This is important because I will have access to students’ personal data which I shouldn’t share with anyone or external organisation without authorisation from my employer and permission from my student in question.
Equality is about rights of students to have access to, attend, and participate in their chosen learning experience. This should be regardless of ability and/or circumstances. Diversity is about valuing and respecting the differences in students, regardless of ability and/or circumstances, or any other individual characteristics they may have.(Gravells 2012:17)
As a teacher, I will work in ways that embrace diversity and celebrate equality according to Equality Act of 2010. I will treat all students fairly, seek to create and promote an inclusive culture for all students. I will ensure equal access to opportunities to enable students to fully participate in learning process.
You must not allow any form of discrimination in your classroom or learning situation. Not only is it morally wrong, it is likely to be illegal (Reece and Walker, 2007:295). I will ensure learning materials or resources that I intend to use in lessons do not discriminate against any individual or groups. I will also ensure there is no discrimination or any form of bullying in my classroom; this may include teasing, name calling etc
“Equality, whilst driven by legislation, should develop the culture and ethic of wanting to meet the needs of all learners.” (Wilson, 2008, p.27) .I will ensure that all my learners have the opportunity to contribute to the learning process using different learning methods and preferences, different assessment styles while taking learners abilities and disabilities into cognizance.
Primarily my role as a teacher is to help my students achieve their chosen programme. With the understanding that learners have varying learning needs; I will use the eelements of Teaching and Learning Cycle (identifying needs, planning learning, enabling learning, assessing learning and quality assurance and evaluation) to cater for their preferred learning styles.
Carrying out initial assessment will help me to identify my students’ needs, as well as my needs and my organisation needs. This will help me identify and avoid triggers that might cause barriers and challenges to learning. My findings during the initial assessment will also guide me while preparing my scheme of work (SOW) and lesson plan and I will do all this within the specifications and guidelines given by the awarding body. The scheme of work and lesson plan is to promote equality, recognize diversity, encourage inclusive learning and take into consideration the importance of health and safety of the learners.
In order stay current and up to date with my specialist subject and continuously improve my teaching practice, I will attend trainings regularly both internally (INSET) and external trainings organised by Awarding bodies and other government agencies, I will also join an online discussion forum relating to my subject.
I will also maintain proper records in terms of attendance and assessment data showing students level and progression.
Based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory (1962) as stated in Reece and Walker (2007:77): The physical (comfort requirements) can be met by providing adequate breaks, ensuring comfort, arranging seats according to needs and being alert to heating and ventilation requirements; It’s important for me as a teacher to identify the needs of my learners with the intention to meeting these needs.
Learners’ needs can be social, physical, intellectual, cultural or emotional. Examples of these needs include dyslexia, language barrier, financial, health or personal problems. To identify my learners’ needs, I will carry out an initial assessment to identify individual strengths and weaknesses, background, achievement level in relation to the programme, level of literacy, numeracy and information technology with any special learning support. This process is also known as the diagnostic assessment. Also I administer the visual, auditory, read and write and kinaesthetic questionnaires to diagnose learners preferred learning styles. Outcome of VARK questionnaires will guide me in lesson planning, resources, activities and assessment method.
I will use different teaching methods to accommodate all learners. As a science teacher, I will use video clips because it gives students the chance to see how science applies to everyday living. Carrying out practical and projects also allows my students to demonstrate their understanding of what they have learnt. I will encourage buddy system and peer high and low ability students together in groups so they can challenge and motivate one another. I will support an English as Additional Language (EAL) student by providing dictionaries, propose extra literacy lessons to help student improve their ability to speak, read and write English confidently.
If learners’ needs are not met, it will have huge and negative impact on my students’ ability to benefit from my lessons and so I will make reasonable adjustments in order to accommodate all identified needs and where necessary refer students to get specialist help. I will also seek to work with the SEN department.
The boundaries would be:
In other to maintain professional relationships with students, I will ensure that I adhere by codes and conducts of IfL and my organisation policy. If I have concerns regarding a student, it’s best not to get involved personally but to share my concern with appropriate department or personnel. . For example I have a student in a financial difficulty; I will refer such students to seek specialist help and will not seek to get personally involved in solving any problem that this is not directly related to my course. Also in giving support, I will ensure I adhere to equality and diversity legislation and not show favoritism. I will also abstain from engaging in social networking with my student and will keep all form of communication formal.
Demands from managers, attending meetings, meeting deadline and targets can be time consuming and have the tendency to eat into time I need to prepare for my lessons. I will seek to have flexibility in demands on my time in this regard so I can attend meetings and do other duties outside the classroom.
I can also seek for Admin support in order to address some of the boundaries highlighted. Lack of resources lack can be sorted by getting Admin support in making orders and ensuring resources are bought and delivered in time for lessons.
Learners will have varying needs depending on their backgrounds and their current circumstances. This might be long or short time based. These needs could be insufficient literacy skills, fear of Information Technology, lack of confidence, language barriers, and transport problems.
In a case where I have a student who comes late or has a poor attendance record, I will seek to understand why his attendance is poor. If it’s a case of unmotivated student, I will try and give him one-to-one by creating an Individual lesson plan to support and motivate him more so that he’s eager to come for lessons. However if this student is having financial problem, I will refer him to get specialist help or student welfare services.
I will recommend approved centres to learners who need to boost their confidence level and improve their IT skills.
In a case where I have a student with language barrier and who lacks confidence, I will seek for ways to promote inclusion by assuring such a student that he/she has the right to participate and learn just like others regardless of background. I will also recommend trusted agencies that help people to improve their English speaking abilities.
For any organisation to run successfully and smoothly, all workers will need to fulfil their roles and responsibilities. As a teacher my responsibility can be broken down into individual, team and organisational. I am aware that the way and manner by which I carry out my responsibilities directly impacts on my colleagues and how they fulfil their responsibilities as well.
My individual responsibility is to make sure I leave the classroom clean and tide so my next colleague will find it ready for lessons. I understand also that I might need to meet with parents/carers of my students and give them support and assurance regarding the child’s progress in lessons. My team responsibility is to share ideas and resources with me colleagues and this can be achieved by having shared folders for resources and ideas. Being able to work as part of a team is a natural and important aspect of the teaching role, I will be willing to support colleagues by agreeing to do last minute cover for someone who is indisposed. I carry out my organisation duties for example by ensuring I mark registers promptly as this enables attendance team to have accurate records and do their duties as well.
It’s important to communicate needs and requirements on time to others. For example as a I’m training to be a science teacher I will need to let the technicians know what I will need to run my lessons and time and quantity needed. I will also need to work with reprographics in other to have printed materials ready for lesson.
Learners need to feel safe and valued before they can fulfil their potential for leaning (Wallace 2011:96). As a teacher it’s important that I create a safe and supportive learning environment in order to optimise my students learning potential.
As a science teacher, Health and safety is high priority for me and my students. In order to create a safe environment, I will ensure that my classroom is neatly arranged and all equipment are safely stored away. I will give clear instructions to technicians regards what resources are needed for my lessons and when this will be. Also I will ensure proper checks; testing and maintenance are carried out periodically on all equipments and dates record kept. I will not allow or ask students to carry or move hazardous materials without proper protective clothing e.g. wearing goggles, gloves and lab coats where necessary. Under no circumstance will I move or ask students to move heavy equipments.
I’ll create a supportive environment by agreeing ground rules with students, stating behavioural expectation at start of lesson and I will organise an inclusive classroom sessions to accommodate all learning needs including a seating plan that address needs. I will encourage active involvement from all and give regular feedback. I will encourage peer support as this allows students to keep in touch outside sessions.
A good first impression will help establish a positive working relationship with your students. The way you dress, act, respond to questions, offer support etc, will also influence your students (Gravells 2012:10). The teacher can themselves provide a model of appropriate behaviour (Wallace, 2007:79).
I will seek to promote appropriate behaviour and respect for my students by agreeing and establishing specific ground rules. These will include: Arriving early on my part to ensure environment is appropriate and my students arriving punctually for lessons Returning marked work within agreed time scales.
Remaining impartial in any disputes
Using a variety of inclusive teaching and learning approaches With my colleagues and organisation I will:
Adhere by dress code and appear for lessons formally and appropriately dressed Preparing adequately for my sessions
Liaising and working with others in a professional manner
I will model appropriate behaviour and respect others by sticking to ground rules and IfL’s Code of Professional Practice (2008). For example I will not bring my mobile phone into lesson and will ensure students turn off their phones or put in silent mode when in my class. I will prepare adequately for my lessons and include all learning needs.
As a science teacher it’s important that I bring alive my topics and make it real, informative, relevant and fun. I will use several teaching strategies to achieve this. These strategies are: Demonstration, Discussions, Online learning, Group work, Individual work, Project work, Presentations, Research, Simulations, Use of ICT. These strategies have their strengths and limitation so usually a combination is used when teaching a lesson.
My teaching strategy will depend on the topic I’m teaching. It is possible to use a combination of strategies while teaching a topic. In order to teach my class a topic on ‘Electricity’, I will start by asking my students to tell me how many electrical appliances (TV, Game consoles, Freeview box etc) they have in their homes and how often they use them. This discussion will be an ice breaker because everyone loves their gadget and love to talk about them. This will then lead to talk about how power is transferred and how to measure power usage. I will ask them to carry out further research and find out the power of several electrical appliances in the home and estimate the cost of using these appliances in a typical week.
Use of ICT is embedded in most topics because students are usually required to carry our further research and submit documents using word processor or PowerPoint. Some topics will also require dividing the class into a group so they can work together and build team work skills.
Specialist area in meeting needs of learning
I will use a combination of teaching approaches in order to meet learning needs. I will use a blended approach of teaching in a classroom with support and activity via Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Using demonstration for practical tasks incorporate all learning styles. Students can watch me carry out a science experiment (visual),listen to an explanation(aural),read instructions on a handout and make note(read and write) and then practise the task(kinaesthetic).This multi-modal learning styles is effective in meeting needs of individual.
I will use interactive white board and projectors in all my lessons. And this enables me to include all learning needs and cater for all learning abilities. . I will set differentiating tasks for my students according to their abilities. Higher level students will be stretched and challenged while lower ability students will be motivated and enable to catch up.
At the end of a topic, I will either give a quiz and puzzle, assignments or group project as a form of summative assessment. This will help me determine if the objective of the lesson has been achieved, identify gaps and eras to improve on or repeat.
Inclusive learning is about involving all my students during session, treating them equally and fairly and not directly or indirectly excluding anyone for any reason.( Gravells, 2012 :49) Inclusive learning involves taking into account any individual learning needs and offering appropriate support.
Inclusion in an educational context has been defined differently by different people. Wilson (2008:96) states that inclusion simply means available to all while (Tummons 2010 :93) states inclusive practise can be defined as an approach to teaching and learning that endeavours to encourage the fullest participation of learners.
This is action supported by Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory. This theory states that learning occurs in a social context as much of what is learned is done so through observation of others. By arranging seating in such a way as to create clear sight lines and simple social communication a teacher will allow students to form this social bond to facilitate learning?
I will endeavour to take into account that my learners have different abilities and needs and use different teaching strategies to meet the individual needs of your students (preferred learning styles, attention spans, maturity, experience, ability levels. I will also be flexible and ready to make a change if and where necessary.
Inclusive learning is about making sure that every learner in the classroom has their needs identified and met. It is about realising that every learner will have specific individual needs and it is the job of the teacher to accommodate the needs of all of their learners. Booth et al. (2000) state ‘Inclusion is seen to involve the identification and minimising of barriers to learning and participation’ (Booth et al., 2000: 13).
One approach to inclusive learning is having additional support for the learners with Special educational needs (SEN). This can be in the form of a teaching assistant or in some more severe cases a carer. Also some students with behavioral challenges also need support and this might be teaching them in a smaller group or having reduced timetable.
Additional support can be used to do several things. The support a teaching assistant provides is to enable the learner to either do the same work the rest of the class is doing but with extra support with ideas, writing or just a general confidence boost. Teaching assistants can also be used to take the pupils with SEN as a separate group and do work that has been differentiated by the teacher. This is a way of enabling the learner to feel they have achieved and not worry about what the rest of the class thinks.
The use of the teaching assistant is vital for many learners. It enables the learner to achieve the academic levels they need and often exceed what they thought they could achieve. However, it could be argued that if a child is given too much individual support then they will learn to expect it and be reluctant to work without support.
The other main area to focus on is differentiation. If a teacher is able to correctly identify the different levels and needs of their class members and then differentiate accordingly then this is going to be one of the most effective ways of creating inclusive learning.
Resources can help aid learning. Having identified learners’ needs; it is crucial to select resources that meet these needs. Resources can come in many forms and used in many ways, so it important to ensure that resources are accessible to all learners and also depending on desired lesson outcome, resources must be select to aid lesson delivery.
Examples of these resources are:
I will make sure printed resources like handouts are written in 12 point text and also use easy to read font, such as Arial, this will help learners with the reading of text. Also you can make sure that the text used on PowerPoint presentations is large enough to read from where learners will be sitting.
Learners with visual impairment can have print versions made specific to meet their need like having prints in A3 and big font like size 48 or providing Braille where needed. By making documents available in larger fonts or in Braille you are ensuring that your session is inclusive.
Continuous assessment of students also helps to determine how effective the resources are and if there is need for a change.
Assessment opportunities can arise at any time during teaching sessions. It can be at the beginning (initial), during (formative) or at the end (summative) of lesson.
Assessment methods include ice-breakers, multiple-choice test, assignment essays, group discussions, question and answer session, presentation, role-play and demonstration. The teaching method ,aims and objectives of the programme will determine the assessment method to employ but all learners will be given the opportunity to be assessed in a way to determine where their strengths and weaknesses lie; and to create ways for improvement while preparing them for formal examination conditions.
Initial assessment at the start of a lesson could be in form of an ice breaker question or discussion; this gets everyone involved and makes it possible for me to gauge their levels and understanding of topic to be discussed.
In science lessons, students have opportunity to have a practical session which helps learner to display their theoretical understanding of a topic. This allows me to observe them and also explain better if anyone is
Question and answer session after a topic for instance, will create assessment opportunity where the needs of the learners can be determined. In this session, students’ knowledge of the subject will be tested and the answers given by learners will determine whether learning is taking place or there is need for improvement. Also by delivering mock or practice tests, I will prepare my students for formal assessments which lead to an accredited qualification.
There are different avenues available to provide opportunities for learners to practice their literacy, language, numeracy and ICT skills.
Literacy: reading and writing
Language: Listening, speaking
Numeracy-approximation, estimations, calculations and measurements ICT- use of emails, web-based research, word processing or assignments and reports, using spreadsheet, database s and presentation
I can give my students opportunity to practise their literacy skills in science lessons by asking them to read from text book and make notes; languages skills can be practised by encouraging group discussions and talking about their understanding of lesson taught. Numeracy can be practised by giving students mathematical exercise which involves calculations. Use of ICT is practised by encouraging web-based research, use of emails, word processing or assignments and reports, using spreadsheet, database s and presentation.
I will create opportunities to practise all these skills as it relates to my lessons. While teaching a topic on ‘the Laws of Motion’ for example, I will encourage my students to read from the display on the board, I will encourage discussion of how these laws can be related to in real life. I will test numeracy skills by giving problem solving tasks which involves calculations and opportunity for ICT skills can be by giving web address relating to topic taught and asking students to do web based research.
Learners should be motivated to have an exciting learning experience; they should also be engaged to make the subject involving, this can be achieved by using varied teaching and learning approaches. Active approaches rather than passive should be used for example group work, discussions, practical task and peered activities.
If we are to be effective in our teaching, all learners should feel part of and engaged in the particular session (Francis and Gould,2009:73). My initial approach in engaging my student will be to have an open discussion and value everyone’s contribution, giving praise to all contributors. I will also give practical tasks and peered activities
Science is an interesting topic but some students find it daunting. I’ll seek to bring the fun part out at the start of lesson. This will include showing video clips relating to topic to be taught and having a discussing thereafter. In order to teach a topic on Speed and Motion, I will show clips of Formula 1 car race, this I believe will get everyone interested in the lesson.
Learners have different skills and abilities and so they feel valued and motivated when teachers employ methods that suit their abilities. Also recognising student’s involvement and achievement in lessons and giving praise and encouragement helps motivation.
Ground rules are boundaries, rules and conditions within which students can safely work and learn .If they are followed they should promote respect for others and ensure the session run smoothly (Gravells 2012: 64). These grounds rules can be:
In establishing ground rules, I will work together with my students by a process of negotiation to agree on the rules. This process will give a sense of ownership and responsibility to the students and enable them recognise what is acceptable and what is not. I will also make them aware of school policy regards appropriate and acceptable conduct in lesson.
I will also advice them not to make personal, racist or sexist comments. The ground rules must displayed clearly throughout the teaching area and can be revised or updated to suit the purpose of a peaceful learning environment
Enabling your students to discuss and agree the ground rules allows for negotiation and understanding of the boundaries, rules and conditions in which to effectively work and learn. It also enables them to begin working together as a group and encourages aspect such as listening, compromise and respect for each other.
Feedback is an essential element for everyone. Feedback is a useful tool for indicating when things are going in the right direction. Giving feedback is an exercise you perform again and again as a teacher.
Feedbacks should be constructive and not demoralise students. My objective when giving feedback is to provide guidance by supplying information in a useful manner, either to support effective behaviour, or to guide someone back on track toward successful performance. Feedback can be given informally during a session and or formally after marking an assignment. Feedbacks can be verbal, written or electronically.
One of the theories of constructive feedback is the ‘Praise sandwich’ feedback. This involves delivering feedback by praising, offering specific constructive criticism and then closing off with more praise. In other words, it is ways of sandwiching constructive criticism between two praises.
After giving a formal feedback, I will offer support and guidance to my student. This will be by pointing out how to achieve their target grade or how to improve in terms of behaviours and also recommend specialist help if needed. And if needed also meet with parents/carer so support can come from home as well.
I started my presentation by introducing myself. Pronunciation of my name can be tricky, so I used it as an ice breaker by getting everyone to have a go at pronouncing my name; this created a friendly and receptive atmosphere after which the students also introduced themselves. By the end of this, the class was ready for my presentation. I started off by agreeing ground rules with my class.
I then introduced a topic in Physics: ‘Laws of Motion’ which my presentation was going to be based on. In order to give an inclusive learning experience, I assessed the students’ literacy skills by asking them to read from the PowerPoint presentation. In essence I used the VARK technique through the presentation.
I also demonstrated the 1st law of motion by using a cup on the table to illustrate this law. I gave out handouts which enabled the students to see and follow the progression of the session. I allowed students to ask me questions during the presentation and I also assessed the students understanding of the topic by giving them few questions to answer at the end of the session. I gave them specific time to complete the question individually after which we all answered the questions together. At this time there were opportunities for students to give their answers.
In conclusion, I would say spending time to prepare for the session was key and on the day I gave a clear introduction of the topic and the aim of the session. I also used variety of resources during the session i.e. PowerPoint, flip chart, handouts. My limitation was that I gave out the handouts a bit late and I did not ask enough open questions during the session.
In order to improve my presentation next time, I will firstly carry out initial assessment by asking if anyone has prior knowledge of the topic at the start of my lesson. This will make me aware of my students’ level, skills and ability.
I would seek to include students from the start of my lesson. I will achieve this by asking open questions. I will also use more visual resources such as showing a video clip to support my teaching and to give my students a robust learning experience.
I will cater for all learning needs and ability by breaking my class into smaller groups. I will also set activities that would enable peer assessment. In order to meet all learners’ needs, I will set differentiated tasks so that high ability students are challenged and stretched and lower ability students are motivated to catch up. While giving my presentation I was distracted a bit as I didn’t want to go over the time, but I realised my students need my full attention all through lessons. Finally I should also give assignments to students so they can carry out further research on topic taught.
There are 3 types of assessment used in lifelong learning. They are: initial, formative and summative assessments. These assessments can either be formal or informal depending on the course or programme. Initial assessments are used before or at the beginning of a course or programme. An example of initial assessment could be to ascertain prior knowledge of a topic. This type of assessment is referred to as ‘skills check’ because it provides teachers or administrative staff the opportunity to identify the type of skills a learner has or does not have in order to determine student suitability for the specific course or programme of study.
Where necessary, some learners might have to be referred to other courses which would cater to specific needs relating to dyslexia, ICT or language. Initial assessments can help the teacher diagnose preferred learning styles and help inform Individual Learning Plans (Gravells 2012:98) Formative assessment is a range of formal and informal assessment procedures employed by teachers during the learning process in order to modify teaching and learning activities to improve student attainment (Crooks,2001).In other words, formative assessment is an ongoing process to determine progress level of learners in relation to achieving the desired understanding of the study with the ultimate aim of developing students’ ability to self assess so that they develop the skills of self-evaluation necessary for lifelong learning.(Asghar,2008).
Summative Assessment is usually carried out at the end of a course or programme to confirm skills, knowledge or understanding. This could be in a form of test, assignment or an exam. Assessment task or activity will be either internal (produced by me or my organisation) or external (produced by the awarding organisation). The assessment criteria should always be designed to meet certain standards as it may lead to formal qualification, hence, the need to ensure that it conforms to (VACSR).It must be valid, authentic, current, sufficient and reliable.
Assessment types are different from assessment methods. A method is how the assessment type will be used and can be formal or informal.
Formal methods count towards achievement of a qualification whereas informal method checks ongoing progress (Gravells, 2012:31). Assessment methods used in lifelong learning are assignments, observation, oral questions, puzzles and quizzes, essays, multiple choice tests, presentation etc. Assignment- This is used to assess knowledge and understanding Observation- This is used to see student perform a task or skill, putting theory into practice Oral question- A key technique for assessing understanding and stimulating thinking. This can be formal or informal. Puzzles and quizzes- A fun way of assessing learning in an informal way These methods give learners opportunities to demonstrate their subject knowledge, skills and attitudes.
All assessment whether produced by me or others should be valid and reliable. Validity will ensure I am assessing what is meant to be assessed and reliability will ensure if the assessment was used again with a similar group of students, I will receive similar results. Quality assurance is usually carried out on most assessment whether internal or external to ensure fairness and consistency as well as validity and reliability. In order to ensure that the learner meet the expected national standard, I will administer formal assessments (practice tests) to help my students prepare for end of course assessments and to help them acclimatise to formal examination conditions.
There are large varieties of assessment methods available for assessing learners’ achievements.
These include assignment, observation, oral questions, essays, multiple choice tests, presentation, puzzles and quizzes. Choosing the most appropriate assessment methods is vitally important, in order to help and support the learner and to ensure the job of the assessor is as straightforward, reliable and problem-free as possible. In selecting methods of assessment the main aim is to choose methods that most effectively assess the objectives of the immediate area of study, whilst considering the broader aims of the programme. For example, the choice of assessment methods may include supporting the development of vocational competencies (such as team skills). There should be a carefully planned assessment strategy across any programme. It is not possible to use only a single assessment method to assess effectively.
Involving learners in assessment is a conscious, organized decision which represents a paradigm shift in assessing practices and in ways that a curriculum is delivered to create optimal learning opportunities for learners. (Hazel-Yildrim & Lavender,2009) It could be that you have a learner who has achieved as aspect of a qualification or programme elsewhere depending upon the evidence they can produce in support of it, they might not have to respect some or all of the requirements (Gravells,2012a:62) Learners can be involved at the commencement of a session by asking them if they have any prior knowledge or skills of the topic to be covered. In this way I can draw and build upon their experience through the session. During the session, peer and group activities methods can be used.
This will require peer and self assessment and actively involve my students; however I will need to ensure everyone was aware of the criteria to consider when carrying out the assessment and how to give feedback effectively. At the end of the session I could informally assess the knowledge gained by using a quiz. This would involve the students and end the session on a fun note.
Peer assessment involves a student assessing another student’s progress while self assessment involves students assessing their own progress which can lead to setting their own goals and targets. Both methods encourage students to make decisions about what had been learnt so far, and to reflect on aspect of further development. However both students and their peers might undervalue or overvalue their achievement. It’s important that students fully understand the assessment criteria, and how to be fair and objective with their judgement.
Throughout the process of peer and self-assessment students can develop skills such as listening, observing and questioning. A simple introduction to the concept of peer feedback is to invite students to exchange lecture notes in the final segment of a class and to discuss perceived gaps and differences in understanding. This can be done on a regular basis and has many potential benefits. It gets students used to discussing their work with their peers, it can help to build a collaborative environment and it helps students to improve and enhance their understanding. Students are invited to complete a simple self assessment sheet according to agreed criteria and submit it with a completed assessment. To extend the benefits of the exercise, students can be asked to explain why they evaluate themselves in particular ways. Students can be awarded a percentage for completing the assessment or graded for the quality of their rationale for their self-assessment.
Studies that evaluated the use of a simple self-assessment component like this report a number of benefits. One of the most interesting is the feedback from students that the self-assessment requirement made them return regularly to the criteria as they were working on the assignment and keep checking their own performance against them (Andrade & Du, 2007, p.166). This heightened engagement with the implications of criteria can help deepen students‟ understanding of what constitutes quality learning.
As a teacher, it is important for me to keep an up to date record of students’ assessment as this enables both me and my students to keep track of their achievement. It can also be used for internal and external audit during inspection or appraisal exercise and for question and answers purposes. Having these records also enables student to re-assess their learning and note progress made over time.
Records indicate clearly what has been taught, the progress of the course, and helps identify the learners who need more help. Records tell us the complete history of the student through their course cycle, thereby facilitating proper guidance and support wherever necessary. It also provides information needed on ex-students by higher institutions or employers. It facilitates the supply of information to parents, effective monitoring of progress of learners, data needed for planning and decision making by service providers. It also enables the service provider to collate information for decision making by law courts, security agencies and other government agencies, when needed The different types of records maintained are: action plans, assessment plans, assessment feedback, assessment tracking, assessment decisions and grades, diagnostics test results, individual learning plans, risk assessment, scheme of work and syllabus or qualification handbook.
Keeping records of assessment in an organisation is important as it always serves as a reference resource in times of dispute. Records can be electronic or manual and should be kept for a minimum of three years. Some records such as personal details are kept by the Admin team while assessment records are kept me the teacher, or kept centrally by the department in a secure place and also stored electronically. Internal assessment materials are stored within the organisation but externally assessed materials are usually in the custody of awarding bodies. This can be made available on request to the school or student. There are many other organisations and individuals (employers, awarding bodies, admission tutors) who need to know about the achievement of our learners for a variety of reasons (Tummons, 2011:74). Data Protection Act of 1998 which was amended in 2003 to include electronic data offers clear guidelines on how to handle information relation to individuals, including the obtaining, holding, use or disclosure of such information.