The Principles Of Assessment In Lifelong Learning Education Essay

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The aim of this assessment is to analyse how assessment methods are used in lifelong learning, evaluate strengths and limitations of these, how to involve the learner in the assessment process, analyse peer and self- assessment role and justify the need for keeping records of assessment.

Assessment as an evaluation tool "consists of tests and observations that tutors, use to determine how well the students has achieved the objectives "(Reece and Walker, 2008, p. 5) and according with Alan Rogers (1994, p.172) assessment is "a collection of data on which we base our evaluation".

On my potential Tutor role I am seeking, e-QAS uses a different range of assessment methods including: initial assessment, diagnostic assessment, work product, progress review, practice tests, exams and observation.

At e-QAS any of these subjects, (Literacy & Numeracy, IT or NVQ) are assessed following the assessment cycle; it's begin with an initial assessment which enable tutors to identify the relevant levels of learners, the required skills, existing knowledge and will ensure that learners needs are met; I will keep records of this to show planning and equal opportunity for all learners. . Through the individual Learning Plan (ILP) I will set appropriate targets agreed with learners choosing suitable methods of assessment to each learner. The records I will keep show that their course has been planned and how it is going to aid their progression. For identification of relevant outcomes I can use Bloom's verbs and that learning can be measured as Gravells affirms (2008, p. 31)"when planning, you need to consider which domain you want to reach".

I have planned an ESOL Entry Level 2 session for observation. The aim of my English course is a unit on communication skills. The plan contains activities to assess learners' skills in speaking, reading & writing. Reading & Writing skills are assessed as whole group activities; Speaking skills are assessed with learners in groups of 3 using differentiated assessment tasks. Component skills in the assessment enable me to get an overview of learners' strengths and areas for development within each of the component skills included.

Language: Students will develop their vocabulary and ability to use words, phrases, and various grammatical structures as a means of improving communication.

Writing:  Students will write in a variety of situations (over time, in collaboration, or alone) improving their written skills.

Materials:  Potatoes numbered 1-15; glossaries of key words; handouts

Time Frame:  25-30 minutes

General Procedures:

-Students will get into groups of three and receive a numbered potato

-Each group will keep the number on their potato top secret from other groups

-Groups will collaboratively write a description of their potato not using the number on their potato as part of the description

-The potatoes will be collected and displayed

- Groups will take turns reading their descriptions while others guess what potato is being described


Cognitive:  When presented with a potato, the students will identify and write key characteristics of it down with 80% accuracy.

Procedure:  In groups students will collaboratively decided what characteristics are unique to their potato.  They will then write these characteristics down.  They will later read their description aloud to peers.  Their peers will determine what number potato the group was describing.  If their peers are unable to guess accurately from their group description they will need to strengthen their written communication by inserting even more precise details and description into their potato writing.

Assessment type: observation, peer assessment, written work product, Q&A

Affective:  Students will write in their journals and orally share their feelings about their experience with the potato writing activity.

Procedure:  After the potato activity is finished students will be asked to individually write in their journals for five minutes reflecting on their feelings generated from the potato activity.  Some writing prompts might include questions such as:  How did you feel when you learned you couldn't use the potato's number in your description?  Did you find it easier or harder to write in groups and why?  What are your feelings toward using description in writing?  What are your overall feelings toward the potato writing activity and why? The prompts allow students to express their feelings. After the completion of journal writing the students will be asked to share what they wrote with a partner.  Finally, each partner-group will report their findings to the whole class. 

Assessment type:    reflective accounts, work product, oral Q & A, peer assessment

Physical:  Students will use several of their senses such as touch and sight to match verbal descriptions to specific potatoes with 80% accuracy.

Procedure:  After the potato writings are complete, the potatoes will be randomly placed on a large table.  Students will have a chance to gather around the table and physically touch and examine the potatoes while one group reads their potato description aloud.  (Groups will take turns reading their potato writings and going up to the table.)  After using touch and sight the students at the table will have to agree upon two potatoes that best fit the description of what was read aloud.  If one of their guesses is correct they will return the potato to the group who read the description.  If their guesses were wrong the potato will remain unknown and stay on the table.  Groups that didn't match a potato to a verbal description correctly will have a second chance to make a match after all the groups insert more detailed descriptions into their potato writings. 

Assessment type: oral Q&A, discussion, written work, presentation

Effective assessments inform planning and enable more focused and appropriate teaching. Assessment will help learners to develop their own skills, acknowledge achievement and increase motivation; it provides objective information to help me responding to learners needs, giving them constructive feedback and assess that the session aims are being met effectively. I used different types of assessment methods; Q&A, written work, peer assessment, observation and each has strengths and limitations (See handouts). I will keep records of these as evidence of learning, funding and audit purposes. Observation and peer assessment are methods which promote learner involvement and consolidate learning assessing several aspects of their performance. Facilitating peer assess on my session, the group demonstrated inclusivity, reliability and authenticity. Inclusiveness is the key driver for learners especially on peer assess as they are involved in the decision making; demonstrate approach in terms of validity of the product of work and give them more autonomy over their learning.

I choose and applied the correct assessment methods to the learning outcomes following the key principles and concepts; Valid, Authentic, Consistent, Sufficient, Reliable, and Inclusive; the assessment methods adhere to e-QAS policies and procedures including: 'Data Protection Act 1998', 'Equality for Opportunity', 'Health and Safety'. I will keep records to provide evidence of my assessment decision to the quality assurance purposes. This can be held by the e-QAS; a reference to its storage location is recorded to create an audit trail for verification.

Assessment will improve the quality of learning and teaching if information gathered

has a clear purpose, is collected systematically and is used appropriately. Records

must satisfy auditors, inspectors, regulators, verifiers internal and external quality

assurers, my organization's requirements and should be ongoing .

Recording provides a platform from which we (tutors) can base our reporting to

others (colleagues, agencies), will monitor the effectiveness of teaching and

learner's progress, targets, and attainments in class. I will record each learner only

what is useful and relevant for next steps in learning. Records are taken at the end

of a planned learning and teaching being used for evaluation. They must be up to

date, accurate and legible. Data are useful for e-QAS purposes such as: appeals,

equal opportunity and funding purposes. Record keeping may constitute a stronger

challenge to teacher performance.

Each learner is, individually assessed by observation, oral and written questions testing the learners' competence and underpinning knowledge (comprehension). The prompts questions I used for my learners and the handouts are the same ensuring that equality for all is applied. For their written work has been allocated extra time to use the glossaries.

As the lesson activity has group work, I have decided to praise the most active group rewarding them for their results which includes the 'Self-esteem' level on Maslow's theory. Using various learning styles, formative and summative assessment, providing a safe environment, excellent pastoral and learning support has helped increase learners' motivation, leading to better retention and progression rates.



References List & Bibliography:

Reece, I., Walker, S. (2008), Teaching, Training and Learning: a practical guide (6th Ed).Tyne & Wear : Business Education Publishers Ltd

Alan Rogers(1994),Teaching Adults: Buckingham: Open University Press

Gravells, A. (2008) Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Sector (3rd Ed) Exeter: Learning Matters Ltd.

Curzon, L. B. (1997), Teaching in Further Education: an outline of principles and practice, fifth edition, Cassel

Drummond, Mary Jane. 1994. Learning to See: Assessment through Observation. York, ME: Stenhouse.