Assessments are significant stages in learning processes .for on to carry out an assessment, one need to collect information, measure information gathered then interpret it in response to the instructions. Assessments help one determine whether learning is taking place or not. Assessment for learning (AfL), instills student’s self-sufficiency and self-appraisal skills to uphold motivation. Assessments of learning (AOF), is meant for reporting and grading to evaluate the progress against applied criteria (LTSN Generic Centre, 2001). Assessments are used to determine whether the objectives of the intended purpose are met. There are different types and uses of assessments methods that include; Self-assessment, peer-assessment, and group assessment. Assessments are meant for the management to verify data collected towards achieving the set goals and for progression. Teachers use assessment to determine whether the students are learning and succeeding while learners too use it in studying styles, it includes all learners and helps account for their achievements (Tadeo, 2010). Assessments involve both learners and teachers as learners decide on goals and ways of assessments while teachers choose the most appropriate methods and types to be used.
Teachers should assess the students all the time so as to gauge the student’s level on the course (LTSN Generic Centre, 2001). The assessments should be affirmative and need to be conducted during the learning process then summative assessment to be done at the end as an examination. Other forms of assessments include; use of open-ended questions to enhance critical thinking ability, use of observation and listening to student’s work and how they reason, setting up activities learned then give feedback, examinations or tests, group discussions and report from teachers (LTSN Generic Centre, 2001).
Self-assessment is applied to students to gauge and make a judgment on their work. Based on the conformist assessment, the decision on students’ work can be interpreted in a range of pass to fail; the students can as well be rated concerning grades ranging from A – E or rated in percentages marks (Hampshire County Council, 2010). These assessments can be used in student’s work such as performance, exam scripts, reports, presentations, essays, projects, and dissertations. On the other hand, student self-assessment is important when the proof of assessment is personal in nature like action plan, reflective logs or diaries and many others, it makes the student understand well when the evaluation meets the criterion intended to identify it (LTSN Generic Centre, 2001).
In some ways, peer – assessment differs from self-assessment, it is used in more or less features of peer performance which may include reports, exam scripts, essays, and many more. Peer – assessment is more commonly used among the student for proof relating to practical work, presentations, performances and many others. It can be unspecified as the assessor can randomly pick in order to keep off factors like friendship that are likely to distort the outcome. This assessment can be multiple or in singular form, and it is the most frequent, efficient and reliable to assess elements of work in checking constancy in work. Lack of reliability indicates that there is a problem (LTSN Generic Centre, 2001).
This is same as inter-peer assessment whereby a product of the group work within a group or another product from another group or the assessing group work products by group members within a group which is also known as intra-peer assessment. Self – Assessment may also be included in the group as a whole or by individuals produced by the groups with their respective products they produced in the groups. For that reason, it is common and important to engage some essentials of self-assessments and peer-assessments (LTSN Generic Centre, 2001).
The reasons why I initially assess the needs of the learners is to get information required to decide where the needy learners should start from. It acts as the standard for measuring how my needy students are progressing. I use initial assessment because it benefits the learners and to help them be optimistic (Burke & Pieterick, 2010). Initial assessments are important because needy learners gets the starting point and enable to foresee what they can achieve over the course (Hampshire County Council, 2010). Initial assessments to the needy students is important because it fosters a reflective move toward to learning and enables one to effectively plan and meet learners’ needs, as it provides a starting point; another reason for initial assessment to the needy learners is that, it puts one at a position to review on how learning is progressing. Initial assessments help improve the standards of teaching since it highlights for me the area of strength and weakness of the students. It is best done during enrollment to set up the interest, motivation and experience of learners (Tadeo, 2010). It is always flexible to accommodate the needs of the group members and the group itself.
The following are ways on how I assess the needs of learners; use of questionnaires which can either be oral or written, the questions are to be filled by the students or with the assistance of the teacher, this questionnaires help to know the level of support needed by the needy students. Another way of assessing the needs of the learners is observations. One –on-one method can also be used by inquiring from the learners through direct conversations. Self-assessment tests, practical exercises and games and lastly, group discussions can be used (Tadeo, 2010). However, before I settle of how to assess the learners needs, I have to consider if; the method is appropriate for the learner’s needs, it is suitable and meet the needs of the learners (Burke & Pieterick, 2010). For students who need extra help and support, are considered so as to deliver best results.
Students that need special support or needs are considered since they are part of the success in the learning process (Clough & Corbett, 2014). For inclusive education for both normal and the disabled learners, services that I offer for the special needy learners are; engaging the disabled in group work, dissimilar questions, and more extra tutorial support they need. To those who are physically disabled and not able to see (dyslexia), use colored papers. The classroom arrangement is also made for the disabled by giving them the front seats. They work in groups to build their confidence and self-esteem (Clough & Corbett, 2014). For those feeling less capable, I give them specific assignments to bring out their strength. The less active learners are given simple and easy oral questions to promote wide range learning. When dealing with the disabled learners, the following methods and activities are important in teaching; Role play, video watching, hands on, book tests, private teachings. Lesson plans are outlined to fit individual needs such as colored papers for students with dyslexia.
Best practices in giving feedback to learners
Feedback is an essential factor in the learning process. It is a means that combines the learning results derived at. As a tutor, I use tend to incorporate feedback immediately the completion of every lesson (Clough & Corbett, 2014). The written feedbacks given to students who perform well are acknowledged through remarks like – well done, excellent and keep it up which are written next to the student’s work. In my experience, I have come to realize that both oral feedback impacts more on achievements compared to other means used. Written feedbacks are very important since the writings are memorable and one can still check back for motivation. These written feedbacks are much important since includes the information on what the learner needs to improve in as it corrects the error. It is best placed when looking forward and positive. They are congratulatory remarks, they gives a learner praises on what has been done well. It is a message written next to the margin of learner’s work Burke & Pieterick, 2010).
Oral feedbacks are also important since I do it in class by praising and congratulating the learner before the class, it motivates the learner leaving the learner to worker harder so as to bet praised regularly. One of the impacts it creates is that after the congratulation, the student may want to be praised regularly thus pushing him to work harder. Through both oral and written feedbacks, the students get motivated and work harder as I raise the standards. This helps me achieve my set goals and also for the students too. According to Department for Education and Employment (2011), shows that both oral and written feedback helps learners to understand and fix their errors by helping one another. Feedback helps the teacher to know which students need helps. Feedback helps students use their knowledge in a realistic way.
Burke, D. M., & Pieterick, J. A. (2010). Giving students effective feedback. Maidenhead, MD: Open University Press.
Clough, P., & Corbett, J. (2014). Theories of inclusive education: A teacher’s guide. London, LA: Chapman.
Department for Education and Employment. (2011). Good Practice Series. Retrieved December 15, 2016, from http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/9936/1/Initial_assessment_of_learning_and_support_needs_and_planning_learning_to_meet_needs_.pdf
Hampshire County Council. (2010, June 4). Initial Assessment Resources for Tutors. Retrieved December 15, 2016, from http://www3.hants.gov.uk/hampshire-learning/hl-providers/hl-tutors/hl-guidance/hl-initial-assessment.htm
LTSN Generic Centre. (2001). LTSN generic centre assessment series. York, NY: Learning and Teaching Support Network.
Tadeo, S. (2010, October 1). The Importance of Initial Assessment. Retrieved December 15, 2016, from http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Importance-of-Initial-Assessment&id=5132820