Principles of assessment in lifelong learning |
Unit 012 Level 4 |
Rob Lawrence |
03 December 2012
03 December 2012
“Assessment is the act of collecting information about individuals or groups of individuals to understand them”. Butler S. M. & McMunn N. D.
Three types of assessment are used in lifelong learning:-
Diagnostic: Provides teachers with information about each student’s prior knowledge before learning begins. Teachers can use this assessment to assist them in developing lesson plans and providing differentiated instruction to meet students' needs.
Formative: Identifies progress and provides opportunities to see how learners have taken in information. The ...view middle of the document...
However, there are limitations in that test results could be skewed if a student is having an off day, or the particular method used does not suit the student or, they generally do not perform well in tests and any failure may be seen by them as a setback. This is particularly the case in students with a fixed mind-set who do not handle setbacks well at which point they can become discouraged or defensive if they don’t succeed straight away. As a result of this they may quickly withdraw their effort, blame others or consider opting out of the subject. On the positive side students with a growth mind-set are more likely to respond well to the initial disappointment and will remain involved, try new strategies and use resources at hand to improve learning.
A formative assessment process gives students the ability to assess their own progress, set their own learning goals and evaluate accordingly. It can also give valuable feedback to the tutors about what they are doing effectively and what could be done better
“Let's give students learning tasks that tell them, you can be as smart as you want to be." Carol S. Dweck
Involving learners in the assessment process is a key way of helping them to manage and take ownership of their learning. To do this they must think about what they have achieved and what plans they need to make to reach the next level. If they can set negotiated targets, are involved in recording their own progress, and then plan the next steps in learning it will strengthen their understanding and reinforce their sense of achievement.
So, are there ways to integrate students into the formative assessment process?
Wilson, L (2008) explains that “Both peer and self–assessment generally lead to reflective practice. Both are the ability to judge oneself and involve a critical analysis of the individual learner. Peer assessment is based on learning from each other and is therefore a good way to share ideas and best practice”.
Activities that promote metacognitive thinking and allow students to reflect on their learning processes are crucial in the formative assessment process. When students are asked to think about what they have learned and how they have learned it, they are better able to understand their own learning processes and can then set new goals for themselves. Students can then reflect on their learning in many ways: answering a set of questions, talking with another student, keeping a learning journal, etc.
Kolb’s learning cycle 1984