THE PURPOSES OF TYPES OF ASSESSMENT IN EDUCATION AND TRAINING
In education and training, there are five major type of assessment used and they include: initial, formative, summative, diagnostic, and holistic.
The initial assessment helps to identify some important needs of students in the early stages of the course or program, the identification of a learner’s learning and support needs is critical as it represents the first stage in the learning cycle and on which all other stages depend.
These needs include career and suitability, qualifications and achievements, aptitude and potentials, prior learning and experience, basic skills, key skills, interest, learning style, and personal circumstances.
Formative assessment is given during the course of learning, it is important because it helps to track the success or failure rate of students, to help determine if they are achieving their academic goals or not.
Summative is administered at the end of a course or program, the purpose of summative assessment is to understand if the student achieved the qualifications they are looking for. Summative assessment should be formal as it provides a standardized way to determine if a student achieved their goals or not.
Diagnostic is usually before the program, it is used to know if the student has the required skill set or knowledge to be part of a program.
While Holistic helps assess the degree of competence.
For example, a verbal quiz may expose the knowledge level of a student, while a practical test may help to rate their skills.
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF DIFFERENT METHODS OF ASSESSMENT IN EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Group discussions are mostly characterized by face to face discussion, usually by a small number of persons; it is also characterized by the exchange of ideas and opinions which usually help the members or the participants in the group to reach a common decision on the discussed subject matter.
Essays are usually characterized by a single central idea, with each paragraph stating a point that supports the general or central idea of the paper. Essays can be used to assess students in terms of their ability to narrate, inform and entertain.
Presentations are known to be concise and focused on the topic; a good presentation should capture the attention of the audience from the very beginning to the end.
Multiple-choice tests are usually pin-pointed, definite and so clear that a single definite answer is usually expected. The options given to the students make it difficult for them to select the appropriate answer.
Tests are characterized by their validity, reliability objectivity, and norms. A test is said to be reliable if it gives the same result even when administered by different testers.
Case studies are the concentration or focusing on a particular subject for study, it is usually characterized by the fact that the number of units to be studied is usually small. It studies a social unit deeply and thoroughly. It is qualitative as well as quantitative, it covers a sufficient wide cycle of time and It has continuity in nature.
Gapped hand-outs are written materials with gaps that allow students to fill up space, this helps students to either express their knowledge or feelings depending on the design of the handout.
In the cybersecurity sector where I plan to teach, students are usually given gapped handouts so they can fill various circumstances that may make a device become infected by malware.
The strengths and limitations of different assessment methods in relation to meeting individual learning needs
Group discussions Provide the student the opportunity to learn teamwork and present the teacher the opportunity to assess the students’ knowledge in a relaxed manner, however group discussion may lead to heavy and time-consuming debates among students, and also strong characters in the group may dominate others.
Essays provide a means for individual students to showcase their knowledge through writing, it offers the student an opportunity to make proper research and learn about the subject matter they are writing about.
Presentations are a type of Assessment method that provides the teacher the opportunity to access students’ public speaking skills and help them improve if necessary.
However, a well-prepared presentation may be marred by stage fright making it difficult to know the real depth of the students’ knowledge.
The multiple-choice tests assessment method provides the student the opportunity to select a readily available answer, to the student having sound knowledge of the subject matter the test becomes easy and interesting, whereas to one with low knowledge it makes the test uninteresting, confusing, and difficult to manipulate.
Tests help the teacher to evaluate the depth of the students understanding in the areas he/she has already taught. The major disadvantage is that standardized tests can become repetitive and hence predictable.
The major advantage of case studies is that students are engaged in actively figuring out how the laws, principles, and theories taught in classrooms can be applied practically, however, case studies limits the horizon of study to a particular subject.
Gapped hand-outs provides the students ample opportunity to be busy when class is in session, it helps them to express their knowledge immediately, however, it limits them, in the sense that they will only fill up the spaces they are provided, and may not be allowed to add extra information.
Why it is important to involve learners and others in the assessment process
It is important to involve learners in the assessment process because this provides the teacher an ample opportunity to receive feedback from the students.
It helps or alerts the teacher to areas where he/she will need to be more flexible, adaptive in teaching the students.
Teachers can get feedback from the students during assessments by adding a questionnaire at the end of a test script; this questionnaire will provide unique answers that will help the teacher to tailor their style of teaching and assessment to meet the individual needs of students.
It is important that I familiarize myself with the learning outcome of my students because it will help me to decide the best teaching approach to use for every student.
Involving students or learners in the assessment will help them to be “encouraged to reflect on their Strengths, Weaknesses, Aspirations, Interests, and Needs (SWAIN) in learning journals to help them measure their progress and achievements in relation to the assessment criteria”
It is important to involve learners in the assessment process, whether it’s a formal or informal assessment as it’s a way of helping them to manage and take ownership of their learning. It will make them think about what they have achieved and plan ahead.
use of peer and self-assessment in the assessment process
Peer assessment or peer review provides a structured learning process for students to critique and provide feedback to each other on their work. It helps students develop lifelong skills in assessing and providing feedback to others, and also equips them with skills to self-assess and improve their own work.
Verbal feedback can be used during a discussion session to guide students and motivate them to engage with course materials more deeply. When students vocalize their feedback they are prone to remember the areas they need to improve.
Anonymous feedbacks enable students to learn to assess and give others constructive feedback to develop lifelong assessment skills, the use of this type of feedback system helps to eliminate personality clash amongst peers, since they are anounymously grade or accesed
Group discussions are a major way of promoting teamwork and enhancing students’ learning through knowledge diffusion and exchange of ideas
Self Assessment involves assigning a percentage or a score to oneself, it presents students the ability to make an honest and critical self-examination. Encouraging students to examine their own learning and levels of understanding can also be an important ‘wake-up call’, identifying areas that require improvement
Sources of information that should be made available to learners and others involved in the assessment process
For assessment to be truly successful learners should be able to scale their progress and see firsthand if they are up to speed with the course requirement
Students need to know the assessment standards, the time frame in which they must complete their assessment, and what must be done to adequately prepare for assessment.
To efficiently prepare for assessments, students may need to review past question papers, if they are available, test results, action plans, progress reports, and records of achievements.
The information that might be shared confidentially includes but is not limited to grades, transcripts, class lists, student course schedules, health records (at the K-12 level), student financial information (at the postsecondary level), and student discipline files.
It is important that parents and employers are kept updated on students progress report because the success of every student is a collective effort, parents have their own role to play in ensuring their child or ward excels academically, employers can provide meaningful support by giving students more time off or financial support to help them excel.
Keeping parents and employees updated helps to ensure that students receive timely help and support.
Key features of constructive feedback
Critical feedback is a destructive type of feedback that should be avoided when informing students how they are progressing, but when feedback is given in a constructive way it makes the students motivated and encourages,
Keeping feedback factual makes it possible for individuals to understand what they did well and what they could do better. Once they know what is good and what isn’t, they are able to adapt their behavior and work to improve.
Using the student’s name is important as it makes the feedback direct and personal, if the student’s name is omitted he/she may think it is general feedback and may not see the need to put extra effort or improve where he/she is lacking.
Giving specific feedback with regards to what was accomplished and what can still be improved helps optimize the work process and get things done in less time, makes students know how to tackle their weaknesses.
Allowing students to comment on the feedback you have provided will help correct any misconception on the teachers’ side and help paint a clearer picture of what is real and what the teacher observed.
Setting goals help students to focus upon the journey to a collection of set achievements, meaning they allocate their resources and time more efficiently and can access motivation during times when they may feel like giving up.
How constructive feedback contributes to the assessment process
The feedback I will give to my students will help them Prepare for tests as it will clear up misconceptions, optimize their brainpower and help them to know what to expect. Pre-test feedbacks can help students relax and maintain a positive outlook.
Consistent feedback will help my students Assess their progress, in the sense that it makes them see areas that need immediate improvement or adjustment.
Feedbacks can Change the way the students might feel about the assessment process if it is administered in a conversational manner. the conversational approach helps the teacher explain why most standards are kept in place.
Feedbacks can help Identify areas for improvement if commendations are given on areas the students are already doing well, this will help the students see clearly the areas they need to improve on, during this process, I will like to compile improvement options and select the one that best suits the need of the students
My feedback will help students focus on outcomes and objectives if the feedback encourages them to focus on their ultimate goal, eliminate distractions and time-wasters.
In other to help my students achieve their targets and deadlines my feedback should be able to eliminate the fear of asking questions, help them understand the requirements, ask for extra help and eliminate any distraction that may hinder them from meeting the deadline.
Ways to give constructive feedback to learners
Constructive feedbacks are more effective if they are direct and less generalized; to make this possible when administering direct feedback care should be taken to ensure that students are informed of already achieved targets and the ones they are yet to achieve.
This will enable the students to channel their energy properly.
Evaluative feedback usually comes in form of brief comments example “well-done” however; this does not provide detailed feedback. Descriptive feedback does this, as it is formative and helps learners to know areas that they need to improve.
Formal written feedback should be administered after considering some factors that prevail around the individual students, for example, a visually impaired student may need more verbal feedback than written feedback. A new student may struggle to understand the jargon used in the formal write up, this becomes more difficult because there is usually no opportunity for the student to ask questions as opposed to an informal verbal feedback system.
Praise sandwich is structured in such a way that praises or positive comments are used to overlay criticism, such that the feedback starts with praise and end with praise. Students might easily misinterpret written feedback because in communication the receiver assigns meanings to what they read, there is usually no immediate feedback system between the sender and the student, given the students level of knowledge and command of the language, written feedback might be misinterpreted
The need to keep records of assessment of learning
There are various examples of assessment records that could be kept about students and they include the following, Diagnostic Assessments Professional Discussions Initial Assessments Copies of Certificates Observation Reports, exam answer sheets, test scripts, these records must not just be kept but must be safely preserved for the following reasons.
A student might lose his or her certificate, a well-kept record will help in confirming all the claims of the student and depending on the rules and regulations concerning such matter a new certificate could be made for the student, in as much as the records confirms that he/she is a bonafide student of the institute no matter how many years that must have elapsed.
Records will help a teacher to defend their decision when a student appeals an assessment decision, the record will serve as a basis for whatever argument the teacher will make in his/her defence.
A well-kept record will help a teacher make a concise report of how a student fared throughout their learning process (audit trial)
Without a good record, a continuous assessment of the student’s academic work will not be possible.
Generally, records are the only thing that will prove that an individual is or was once a student of a said institution, nowadays it is easier to keep records, due to advancements in digital technology.
Summary of requirements for keeping records of assessments in an organization
Going by the Data Protection Act (1998) information such as name, private addresses, date of birth, and contact details of students may be collected and stored, however, according to section 21(1) it is an offense to process this personal information without prior registration, data involving sex life, trade union status should not be kept by the school
In accordance with the Equality Act(2020), school authorities are expected to keep the documents that show that the following individuals are not being discriminated against and they include persons from a different race, with a disability, with religion or belief as opposed to the common, with different sexual orientation, persons who underwent gender reassignment, under pregnancy or maternity.
Also, known as the HSWA The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) is a primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in Great Britain, and according to the act it is important to keep risk assessment records because they help to create awareness of past dangers and ways to avoid them in the future, it helps to identify which student may be at the highest possible risk.
These records when preserved may then be assessed by students as such power is given to them by The Freedom of Information Act (2020)These records can then be used as proof to external verifiers that the records are only for quality assurance and for continuous improvement.