Level 3 Award in Education and Training
Unit C: Understanding assessment in education and training
Name: Debbie Allen-Taylor
Course Location: Denton Burn Community Association
Slatyford Lane, Denton Burn
Newcastle upon Tyne
Course Dates: 29/05/2018 to 31/05/2018
Course Tutor: Rebecca Hodgson
1.1 Explain the purposes of types of assessment used in education and training.
Assessment should focus on improving, reinforcing and helping learners become aware of how they are progressing, and it is the teacher/trainers’ duty to give regular and constructive feedback.
Assessment can take place at an initial stage (beginning), in the middle (ongoing) and at the end of the learning (summative), it is way to find out if learning has taken place. And learners have gained the required competence, skills, and knowledge that the teaching/training is trying to convey.
Assessment can be internal (produce by teachers, trainers and internal organisations) or can be external (assessed by an awarding board, assignment/course work or examination).
All assessment methods should be suited to the level and ability of the learners and an initial assessment will give information regarding the learner’s knowledge and ability. It is helpful to identify the individual needs of the learners, it is best done prior to the programme commencing, during the interviews or applications stage. “A quick question: What experience do you have of this, if any, will soon give an idea of what your learners already knows” (Anne Gravells, The Award in Education and Training)
An initial or diagnostic assessment establishes the starting point and ascertains the learner’s previous skills and knowledge. This enables the learner to see how much he/she achieves during the course, it also fosters a more reflective approach to learning and enables the teacher to effectively plan the individual student’s needs.(ILP – Individual learning plan) The teacher can then review the students’ progress and achievements, which improves the quality of teaching and, ensuring that the learners are on the right programme at the right level and with all support they need to succeed.
Formative assessment will take place informally by questions and activity during the lesson to check that learning is taking place.
At the end of the programme, a formal summative assessment, devised by an awarding organisation will accredit the qualification. This type of assessment is often stressful to students and can result is failure, even though the student is more than capable of achieving the required result under other conditions.
1.2 Describe the characteristics of different methods of assessment in education and training.
Methods of assessment are varied and can include the following:
Case studies – this could be a description of an actual event, learners are asked to analyse the situation and give suggestions.
Demonstration – this may involve the teacher/trainer showing the learners how to do the task and then they replicate it.
Discussion – this enables learners to talk about the chosen subject, share knowledge and ideas, before arriving at a conclusion.
Gapped hand-outs or workbooks –this is a way of checking knowledge – sentences have missing words which learners must complete.
Multiple choice questions – here you are asking the student to choose the correct answer from several alternatives.
Observations – this involves watching the student while they complete a task or exercise.
Open question techniques – Open questions (what, where, why, when, who, how) will give information about the learners’ knowledge.
Scenarios – this method enables students to think about situations that may occur in a real time environment anticipate the context in which they have to act and the consequences of their decisions.
Assessment can be written, oral, formal and informal. Teacher/trainers can observe the learners at any time, during the lesson/learning activity, and, it is a good way to test knowledge with exercises or completing some tasks either individually and as a group.
Learners can learn and improve from their mistakes and teachers/trainers should, encourage them to come to that realisation.
To obtain a good result and not stress the learners a positive attitude is required from the teachers/trainers.
1.3 Compare the strengths and limitations of assessment methods in relation to meeting individual learner needs. (See Appendix One)
1.4 Explain how different assessment methods can be adapted to meet individual learning needs.
Teachers/trainers should follow the “Equality and Diversity Act (2010) and the quality assurance system to assess learners accurately, fairly, and consistently. Teachers/trainers need to make reasonable adjustment to enable all learners to be assessed in a consistent and fair manner. Teachers/trainers need to be aware of all the different adjustments, help and adaptation that are available to accommodate individual learning needs.
The support could be the use of electronic devices for example a computer or other communication device to be able to participate in the assessment process. The assessment maybe available in other languages, this will help the people for whom English is not their first language. The assessment may be adapted to accommodate learners with dyslexia and visual impaired.
2.1 Explain why it is important to involve learners and others in the assessment process
Learners should be involved in the assessment process from commencement to completion of the learning and the result of the initial assessment should be used to agree an individual learning Plan – ILP and assessment plan.
Teachers/trainers should give the learners a copy of the assessment criteria, so that they can check their progress and take ownership of their development.
Learners maybe aske to complete a SWOT analysis, (see appendix two) this gives them the opportunity to consider their current skills, knowledges and how it relates to their development progression.
Assessment can take place in a workplace, by the internal assessors. Then assessment can also take place by external assessors. This is to ensure that standards are kept and everyone taking the course is working to the same standard. Involving others in the assessment process also ensures clarity of expectations, fairness and reliability in the qualification gained.
Other colleagues or department (internal quality assessor (IQA) mentor, colleagues, manager; or external quality assessors, inspectors, awarding/exam boards) will be involve in the assessment and teachers/trainers will update them about learners’ progress. Teachers/trainers will always remain professional and remember to respect the individual learner’s confidentiality and data-protection.
2.2 Explain the role and use of peer and self-assessment in the assessment process
Peer assessment actively involves learners assessing each other. Learners can assess each other’s work anonymously, give written feedback, hold a group discussion and give suggestions one another peer.
Teacher/trainers will make sure that all learners are aware of the assessment criteria and give able to give complementary constructive feedback, this will help to build confidence.
Peer assessment helps to motivate learners to work harder, promote attention and focus on the learning as they will not want to look foolish, it can also be useful to develop communication skills
Self-assessment involves learners assessing their own progress, self-assessment gives the learners responsibility and ownership of their progress.
Self-assessment can be used to encourage reflection and improve personal responsibility, by becoming independent learners and being able to identify when they are ready for a formal or summative assessment
Teachers/trainers, external awarding boards will make the final decision on the achievement.
2.3 Identify sources of information that should be made available to learners and others involved in the assessment process
Information that should be made available to learners should include criteria from the awarding body, reading lists, deadlines, grade boundaries and other sources of information, like websites. If available teacher/trainer may be able to supply learners with past question and answer papers or signpost them to where they can find them.
The teacher/trainer will present the learners work and communicate their observation and assessment to the IQA, manager, AQA, awarding body or anyone involved in the assessment process.
The learner may need to sit an examination as well to get their qualification.
3.1 Describe key features of constructive feedback
It is the teachers/trainer’s responsibility to be fair, respectful and honest when giving feedback to all the learners. They should be objective and not subjective in their judgement it should be valid, authentic, current, sufficient, reliable (VACSR) and specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound (SMART). Using these measures will help the teachers/trainers to give constructive feedback.
Constructive feedback can be formally or informally, direct to an individual or indirect to a group, feedback improves the communication between teacher/trainer and learners.
Giving constructive feedback, will help to improve learner’s confidence and motivation and, it will give them the capability to reflect on their progress and realise their mistakes.
Giving clear straightforward and timely feedback, give to the learners the opportunity to correct mistakes and work towards achieving the goal for embarking on the training/learning.
3.2 Explain how constructive feedback contributes to the assessment process
Constructive feedback is a way to help, boost confidence and motivate the learners. Learners will know which skills they need to improve to be ready for the summative assessment or to achieve an award.
Constructive feedback gives the opportunity to the learners to asking questions and is a good way to carry out a formative assessment. It improves the communication between teachers/trainers and learners, allows discussion, and clarifications of any difficulties the learner may be having and putting a plan of action into place.
Teachers/trainers should always inform the learners about progress and achievement. Constructive feedback needs to be clear and should provide an objective basis, on which the learner can evaluate improvement.
“Giving feedback in a constructive way enables learners to know what progress that have made, which requirements that have achieved and any action that may be required” (Anne Gravell, The Award in Education and Training, 2014)
3.3 Explain ways to give constructive feedback to learners
“Feedback is the most powerful single influence that make difference to student achievement” (Professor Hattie, 1987) Constructive feedback can be formal, informal, oral or written. Teachers/trainers should use a positive tone of voice, be aware of their body language and facial expressions, have a non-judgement and fair attitude.
Giving a descriptive feedback helps the learner to know what they have achieved and what they need to work on and improve. Teachers/trainers can use a “Praise Sandwiches” telling them what was done well first, then what they need improve and finish on a positive note to keep them motivated.
Using the learners’ name when giving feedback makes it became personal and one to one is a good way of giving them individual support.
4.1 Explain the need to keep records of assessment of learning
Assessment record must be maintained to satisfy the quality assurance system of internal organisation and external regulators such as OFSTED. Showing an audit trail is mandatory to check the learners’ progress, achievement, self-assessment and improvement from commencement to completion of the programme.
Record of assessment of learning must be kept for 3 years after a student has left and is necessary in case the learner appeals against an assessment decision.
Teachers and trainers are be able to monitor the learners’ progress, to set or review the ILP (Individual Learning Plan) target and have a clear vision of the group of work.
Teachers and trainers, in non-accredited programme, still need to record the learners progress. This record is called RARPA (recognising and recording programme and achievement).
Record must be up to date, clear, factual, legible, accurate and electronic record need to have a backup in case any date is lost.
Internal staff and external agency should follow the Data Protection Act (1998).
4.2 Summarise the requirements for keeping records of assessment in an organisation
Keeping record of assessment support the teachers/trainer and learners during the all programme to check the learners’ improvement and prove that learning and assessment has taken place.
Teachers/trainers can be visited by awarding bodies such City and Guilds and QCF, to carry out inspection on the documentation to assess the organisation’s quality assurance system.
All the documentation must be kept for 3 years after the student/learner has finished. Teachers/trainers of non – accredited programmes will keep learner records in the RARPA programme (Recognising and recording Progress and Achievement).
Assessment records provide information about the learners’ progression and achievement. These records are used for audit, internal quality assurance and external regulators such Ofsted, Care Quality commission (CQC) and The Skill Funding Agency.
Internal and external organisation need to follow the confidentiality policy, Data Protection Act (1998), Freedom of Information Act (2000) and Equality and Diversity Act (2010).
Gravells A (2014) The Award in Education and Training Learning Matters
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