Without assessment student and teacher have no parameters set to work by , no direction during the teaching process and no way of understanding the students competence prior to examination and end of the course or session.
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Assessment is the overall tool we have for measuring the student and teacher??™s suitability and learning. Assessment can come in many forms in the teaching sector and each has its own merit and value alongside the others.
We can see clearly the three stages of assessment in the image bellow.
Planning (Initial Assessment)
This stage is where the teacher would assess the student??™s capability, learning style and motivation. This could be done in a number of ways, from an open discussion or interview with notes taken by the tutor, an examination or diagnostic test or questionnaire. We would at this stage hope that blooms learning domains are taken into consideration to establish the three pillars before moving into the formative stage. Combining an assessment or diagnostic test with a discussion and interview should make sure we can understand the learners attitude and motivation (affective) alongside his or hers competence (Psycho-motor) and knowledge (Cognitive).
I use in my work various methods of initial assessment:- Individual learning plans, learner contracts, JCP agreements.
JCP agreements are a useful tool for assessing if a learner has any barriers to learning such as dyslexia, hearing problems or literacy issues or language problems. The reliability and authenticity is sometimes questionable due to the nature of the relationship between claimant and advisor taking the notes. Overall the tool is very useful if shared with the learner at this stage.
Individual Learner Plans are contracted part of our record keeping and confirm session aims outcomes and rules and guidelines, this is a written document drawn up with contributions from the learner and coach.
Learner Contract is used on some of the courses I run which gives an indication to the learners motivations and also sets out a clear learning agreement. It also gives discussion points for the tutor to have open dialogue regarding any possible learning problems.
Gathering Data (Formative Assessment)
During the teaching frequent reviews are essential for the teacher in order to monitor progress and make adjustments to the teaching. For the learner it is an important time to understand and gauge progress made and receive ongoing feedback. This is also an important time for the learner and teacher to reflect on their input. The teacher should be using this stage of assessment to motivate the learner and should also hope to identify strengths and weaknesses.
During the formative stage observational monitoring should be used to identify the learners Psycho-motor skills and also motivations and attitude. We would also be setting tasks in order to formally assess the learner??™s progress. We would also be giving the learners feedback from the observations and tasks and done in a manner to inspire and motivate, without motivation to continued development the learner can lose interest or become despondent or give up all together. Written exercises or group discussions provide the learners with an opportunity to reflect on the recent processes and give self learning and areas of improvement and can also motivate.
Throughout this process I keep session notes for the learner and myself to read this has a space for me (the tutor) to record the points of the session and next steps for the client. The learner also has a space to record what they felt they have leaned and also what they have enjoyed. These notes are my most valuable tool as most of the teaching I deliver is very short one day or two day courses so having this record at the end of each day is a suburb tool in the formative stage.
Reporting Results (Summative Assessment)
In order for this stage to be as accurate as possible it is of great importance that the notes and records from the previous stages to be considered and used when summarising the learner journey. At this stage providing feedback on a path of development and recognition of effort can be most rewarding for the learner and provide inspiration to progress further in the future.
This stage is to provide evidence that learning took place. Assess the quality of learning from the client and the quality of the teaching from the learner??™s perspective and ultimately examination and certification.
In my work there is sometimes little avenue for certification due to the nature of the courses ran so my emphasis must lie with feedback and summery.
The clients are asked to complete a learner survey at the end of the session which gives a sliding scale regarding the teaching, how they felt, where they supported, where there needs met from the course and various other questions. They also have sections where they explain what they found most useful and what they learned and what they didn??™t find useful. From this feedback sheet as the tutor I gain a heavy amount of individual feedback.
Module Summary Record
We also use a Module summary record where the coach has the opportunity to say what from their perspective the learner has achieved and any future progression paths would be open with recommendations. The learner also contributes by reflecting on what they felt they have learned and what was most useful. This report is kept in the learners file with the other documents used but is also sent to the JCP advisor who referred the client. So from the learners point of view this provides evidence for them learning took place to their advisor and also a record of achievement. The advisor can at this stage make another Initial assessment from the Knowledge provided (Cognitive) Starting the process again for another course by referring the client to us for an advanced course.