Assessing Learners in Lifelong Learning

Unit 409: Assessing Learners in Lifelong LearningPaschal Ekeigwe ??“ Amended 23 February 2013Task A: Practical and essayPractical:To complete this task you must: a) Produce a different assessment and deliver them to your peers b) Record assessment to meet internal and external processes and requirements c) Obtain written feedback from your peers and do a self-evaluation (forms will be provided, these must be submitted as evidence)All of above have been done (and submitted)Essay:To complete this task you must write an essay a) Explaining what two assessment types you have produced and what method you have used to deliver them and why. In addition explain how the two-delivered assessment meets the needs of learnersWe gain more insight into student??™s abilities, needs, experiences, and interests by carrying out assessments and the outcome of assessments helps us to know how much information a student has retained in class, how the student is progressing in a course as well as how much further support a student may require. Based on this the outcome of assessments help us to provide better services to students and to help them achieve their potential as well provide a way of tracking learner progress over a period of time.For the purpose of this exercise, I produced two assessments, one informal and the other formal in order to ascertain the level and the potential of the students in class. Informal assessments are a procedure for obtaining information that determines if a student is suitable for a particular course he or she would like to do whereas formal assessments are a procedure of using standard formats for determining the level of a student e.

g. examinations or in course tests.Delivery MethodThe informal and formal assessments were prepared and delivered in typed examination question standard formats with instructions on what to do. Each student in the class had two question papers each i.e. formal and informal assessment which contained prepared questions on Product Design Engineering and Robotics. The initial assessment had 5? questions & formative had 10 questions.

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I used this method because it will help the students to be focused on their test paper rather than using the projector or looking at the board to read the questions and writing the answers on their sheet of papers. By not using the whiteboard they were able to concentrate on the task and save time as most of the questions involved calculations.There were diagrams in the both of the papers for visual learners, there were questions about the life experience of students for those who learn by experience, there was literacy and numeracy embedded in both of the examination papers which helped the students to improve their literacy and numeracy whilst sitting subject specific tests. The test papers were laid out in such a way that they were easy to read and the type face large enough for learners who may have visual impairments in the class to read and the test papers did not have too much information squashed onto one page. Reflecting on your feedback discuss ways to promote learner involvement and personal responsibility in assessment for and of their learningThe two assessments went very well and most students finished slightly early, others used all the allocated time and some students were not able to complete all questions which implies that an adequate length of time was allowed for the tests to be taken. The feedback I received from the students where well noted however the key areas that suggestions were made that I improve upon were: use of images in the assessments; and taking note of and correcting grammatical and textual errors.Grammar: there were some grammatical errors due to pressure I was under and I do agree that grammatical errors could make students not to understand the questions clearly; I will make attempts to proof read my work more thoroughly next time.Images: the images I used were not properly referenced in my assessment though most of the images used were created by me but I will make sure that images are properly referenced where appropriate.

There are ways to promote learner involvement in the class however this can only be successful if an assessment and support needs are carried out to find out their best learning method and this can be determined by one on one feedback or whole class feedback.???Self-assessment and peer assessment encourage reflection and help learners understand how they learn…

??? [1] Some of the ways of improving learner involvement include: using constructive feedback and self-reflection as mentioned above and this results in motivated, stimulated and engaged students who are more willing to participate and take responsibility for their own learning. It is also important to listen to learners as students are more encouraged to participate in class and seek constructive feedback from their peers and their tutors. It is also important to engage students in dialogue in class and make them (and their opinions) feel valued so that students become managers of self and reflect upon their own behaviour and progress. b) Discussing how questioning and feedback contributes to the assessment process.Questioning and feedback is an important part of the learning cycle and also contributes to the assessment process to the benefit of both students and teachers.In order to best understand the questioning and feedback process, let us look at the phrase assessment process. The assessment process is a process which involves the use of standardised documentation to find out the level of knowledge or prior knowledge of a student through a guided test or examination taken during a set length of time.

???Pupils can be invited to ask questions themselves or tutors can have groups work on different, narrowly focused topics and make up questions for the rest of the class and then other groups then discuss the questions.??? [2]Techniques such as questioning and feedback help the tutor to measure how successfully they have communicated information to their learners and how much of that information or knowledge the student or learner has retained. It also helps the tutor to plan future sessions or modify previous lessons. The use of questioning and feedback also helps the students to stay focused on what is being taught rather than being distracted by side conversations and also helps students to ask questions or get answers to questions they may have due to other students asking similar questions. Students also improve their own communication skills if questioning and feedback is handled in a sensitive way so that shy or less responsive students are also given an opportunity to express their views, this could be encouraged through group discussions and other activities. The students also have an increased sense of belonging and their confidence levels increase when they feel that their contributions are valid and that they are also valued.

c) Review ways in which minimum core elements can be demonstrated in assessing learners in lifelong learning???Minimum core elements can be used to support assessing learners in lifelong learning and this is done by incorporating literacy, numeracy and ICT in the assessment questions that are being set.???[3] The assessment questions should be set in such a way that the answers given by the student should demonstrate that the student??™s levels of literacy, numeracy and ICT are ultimately being improved and if this is not the case, what support if any, is required.It is important to continuously review ways in which assessment papers are set and to be able to have results that can be quantified and analysed in order to be able to draw conclusive results. We need to consider questions such as: What level of language knowledge do learners currently have and what level do learners need to achieve; What are the minimum core standards that they need to meet at the beginning of the course and what are the targets at the end of the course; What levels of minimum core do the learners need to have in order to be able to express their individuality and demonstrate thinking, reasoning and understanding of their subject specialism and to be able to apply it and lastly, What levels of knowledge of minimum core do they need to attain at the end of the course to progress in life, the workplace, home or for further study.Students may need to be referred for further study in literacy, numeracy and ICT where is it is not possible to provide this support as part of the course being studied. d) Discussing why it is important to follow assessment requirements and related procedures of learning programmesIt is important to follow assessment requirements and related procedures of learning because there are so many decisions we need to make before, during, and after teaching.

These decisions and follow-up actions need to be of benefit to the student and to give them the best chance of increasing their attainment as they continue through a course. Assessments also need to be adapted for the specific purpose of the student where it is required, for example for a student who is visually impaired or partially sighted, there might need to be a braille or audio version of an assessment available for the student so that the student has a fair chance of taking and passing the assessment.Assessments also need to be modified as and where required, for example the level of attainment on a course might be quite low however it might be that the students do not understand the questions rather than because they do not know the answers to the questions. Therefore it is important that assessment setting procedures are reviewed and that also the assessments themselves are fit for purpose.It is also important that assessment procedures are standardised as there are occasions when the results of assessments are wrong due to errors and inconsistencies in marking of students??™ work as marks awarded can be subjective rather than objective.There are several awarding bodies in the UK and in order for a qualification to first be recognised it needs to be a qualification a that is accepted by the National Qualifications Framework (QCF) and it must have units that can be transferred across institutions, occupations and educational establishments.

The main body in the England was the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) ???the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency closed on 31? March 2012 as part of the Government??™s wider education reforms. The exams administration function is now performed by the Teaching Agency and the National Curriculum assessments function is now performed by the Standards and Testing Agency (STA)???.[4]Awarding bodies do not always provide courses that lead to a qualification however they maintain standards by ensuring that assessments that are set by their partner institutions are of a consistent standard and that clear guidelines are set for marking of these assessments or assignments to ensure that allocation of marks and question setting is fair to all. e) Explaining why it is necessary to communicate assessment information to other professionals with an interest in learner achievementSchool and colleges are ranked according to results and it therefore is important to track learner progress and achievement and publish this data. Funding allocated to schools and colleges can also be dependent upon achievement and minimum pass rates so once again it is important to not only track this information but also to submit this information in a timely manner to the funding and government bodies that require the information. In some instances there may be improvement processes in place (this could be based on lack of student??™s knowledge base, student behaviour and attitudes and other reasons) from OfSted or other such governmental bodies. For example if you have a school that is in special measures there may be a requirement for the school to show an increase in attainment in certain subjects or in certain year groups. If the school does not show improvement in the areas that the Inspectors have stated within the set timescale the school or college could be closed down or may end up losing funding as a result of this.

Local authorities also have a vested interest in assessment results and they are usually the ones responsible for allocation of funding in secondary schools and academies and there may be some funding that the educational establishment would get based on students achieving certain grades or additional funding for exceeding set attainment targets.Assessment information also needs to be communicated to parents and guardians, both through comparison charts comparing the child??™s results to overall grades in the class, the school year and also within the borough as well as within school brochures (for example for parents to look at before choosing a school for their child).The main goal of communicating assessment information to other professionals, the students, parents and also the community is to help the school to learn as well as to grow. The communication of assessment results also gives more insight into the different support needs that student??™s might have for example needs in literacy rather than subject specific needs and this will lead to be better planning and preparation of lessons and support facilities.[5]???Every learner has the right to expect that they will receive high quality learning, appropriate to their needs and circumstances in a safe and healthy environment???.[6] All classrooms should be inclusive however it is not always possible for the tutor to provide for all the needs of the students in the class which is why it is important that the tutor knows what the points of referral that students can be sign-posted to are.This could vary from a line manager to other teachers who may be experienced in dealing with dyslexia to specialists for supporting students with physical or learning disabilities. Points of referral could also include child support agencies with regards to suspected cases of neglect and abuse as well as charitable organisations that may be able to provide support for those who speak English as a Second Language to healthcare specialists who may be part of the local health or educational authority.

References1. http://tlp.excellencegateway.org.

uk/tlp/xcurricula/employability/index.phpi=42. http://www.highlandschools-virtualib.org.

uk/ltt/inclusive_enjoyable/questioning.htm3. http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/methods/assment/as600.htm4.

http://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/armslengthbodies/a00200461/qcda5. http://dera.ioe.

ac.uk/2333/1/Companion_for_minimum_core.pdf6.

(Success for All, DES 2002) http://www.globalgateway.org.uk/pdf/PZ-Success-2002.pdf———————–[1] http://tlp.excellencegateway.org.uk/tlp/xcurricula/employability/index.phpi=4[2] http://www.highlandschools-virtualib.org.uk/ltt/inclusive_enjoyable/questioning.htm[3] http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/2333/1/Companion_for_minimum_core.pdf[4] http://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/armslengthbodies/a00200461/qcda[5] http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/methods/assment/as600.htm[6] (Success for All, DES 2002) http://www.globalgateway.org.uk/pdf/PZ-Success-2002.pdf