Both formal and informal assessment strategies are employed by the organisations to get a more valid view of learning. ???Assessment refers to all those activities undertaken by teachers, and by the students in assessing themselves, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged??? (Black and Williams, 1998, p.2).Formal assessments are perceived to be fairer than informal as the criteria are more explicit. However, they can induce stress sometimes causing learners to under-perform while informal assessments encourages deeper learning and gives better rounded picture of learners??™ abilities but lack the element of competition which in turn has an effect on learners??™ motivation.Some common formal assessment methods are examinations, portfolios, essays and thesis.
Informal methods include computer based learning, open discussion and brain storming.I have created a power point presentation on the topic of ???holidays??™. I used some slides of well known destinations across the world. I used ???question and answer??™ as my informal assessment method. Hillier (2005, p.) has described it as a method of providing constant feedback to learners and tutors about the progression of learning process and has suggested variety in questioning. The slides have got no description underneath.
The learners were encouraged to look at them one by one and answer orally. I asked questions as follows:Do you recognise this place Which country is it in Have you ever visited the place or country Which part of the world is it inThese kinds of basic questions were then lead to open and leading questions like:Do you any place similar to this in your country What is the best time to visit What is the food like and even historical value of the place. The learners contributed well as there was something for everyone to talk about as element of association to their native countries. The learners came across new vocabulary which took the activity to a whole new level. For example, they asked about the meaning of word ???ruins??™ and the difference between ruins and historical places which showed clearly their interest, motivation and development of cognitive skills. The assessment when analysed in context with principles of assessment was found out to be open and inclusive as it involved learners from all background irrespective of religion, gender, age, disability and so forth. This principle has direct relation to fairness. Also, it was ???valid??™ as the learners had the background knowledge and it catered for their level of understanding.
It was authentic to a relative degree because of its relation to ???real life??™ but few learners spoke on other??™s behalf or pass on other??™s idea. The assessment was ???current??™ as it was set according to their level. It was ???reliable??™ to a certain extent.