What is assessment?
Assessment is a way of finding out if learning has taken place. It enables you to ascertain if your learner has gained the required skills, knowledge, understanding and/or attitudes and behaviours needed at a given point in time, towards their programme of learning.
Assessment also provides your learners with an opportunity to demonstrate what progress they have made and what they have learnt so far. If you don’t plan for and carry out any assessment with your learners, you will not know how well, or what they have learnt.
Assessment is not another term for evaluation; assessment is of the learners whereas evaluation is of the programme.
You are therefore constantly making judgements and you should also be aware of the impact that your comments and grades can have on your learners’ confidence when you give feedback. Comments which specifically focus on the activity or work produced, rather than the individual, will be more helpful and motivating to your learners.
A few relevant assessment resources are available to purchase with immediate download upon checkout. Just scroll down this page.
The following text is adapted from the book in the picture.
Assessment types and methods
Assessment types include initial (at the beginning), formative (ongoing) and summative (at the end). You will find a few initial assessment links at the end of this page. Assessment types relate to the purpose of assessment ie the reason assessment is carried out. Assessment methods are the activities used to assess ongoing progress as well as achievement; for example, questions, discussions, observations, tests and assignments.
All assessment methods should be suited to the level and ability of your learners. A level 1 learner might struggle to write a journal; a level 2 learner may not be mature enough to accept peer feedback; a level 3 learner may feel a puzzle is too easy, and so on.
Formal and informal assessment
Formal assessment means the results will count towards something, such as a qualification. Informal assessment helps you determine how your learners are progressing at a given point.
The use of technology
Technology can be combined with traditional methods of assessment; for example, learners can complete a written assignment by word-processing their response and submitting it by e-mail or uploading it to a virtual learning environment (VLE) or cloud based application.
Combining methods of assessment also promotes differentiation and inclusivity; for example, learners could access and complete assessment activities online to test knowledge but be observed in person to assess performance.
Minimising risks when carrying out assessment activities
If your role involves the assessment of learning, whether in a classroom, the workplace or another setting, there are often risks involved.
risks don’t always relate to health, safety and welfare, but to the
assessment process and the decisions made.
Situations which could pose a risk to assessment (in alphabetical order)
Initial assessment links:
Assessment resources available for immediate download
Information Leaflet - Key Concepts and Principles of Assessment (£1.50)
8 pages covering: • Why should assessment take place? • The key concepts of assessment • Principles of assessment • VACSR & SMART • Role & responsibilities of an assessor • Regulations & legislation relating to assessment • Policies and procedures • Reading list • Website list
Handout – Table of Assessment Methods & Activities: Strengths and Limitations (£2.50)
10 pages of information detailing 38 different assessment methods & activities, along with the strengths and limitations of each.
Information leaflet - Involving Learners and Others in the Assessment Process (£1.50)
5 pages containing covering • How to involve learners in the assessment process • Self assessment: examples, advantages and limitations • Peer assessment: examples, advantages and limitations • Questioning • Involving others in the assessment process • Sources of information • Reading list • Website list
Information leaflet - Making Assessment Decisions and Giving Feedback (£1.50)
6 pages covering: • How to make a decision • Factors influencing decisions • Appeals and complaints • What is feedback? • Different feedback methods • How to give feedback • Feedback hints • Reading list • Website list
Information leaflet - Record Keeping (£1.50)
3 pages containing covering • Reasons for record keeping • Examples of records • Data Protection Act (1998) • Confidentiality • Freedom of Information Act (2000) • Assessment records • Examples of assessment records • Reading list • Website list
(See below for sample records and completed examples)
Templates – A full set of assessment records (in Word) (£3.00)
Can be used by assessors who do not have their own assessment record system
5 templates in Word (with instructions) for you to amend to suit your own requirements: initial & diagnostic assessment, action plan, assessment plan and review record, feedback and action record, assessment tracking sheet. They can easily be amended to suit your own requirements.
Completed examples are available to purchase below: Ref A9059
Completed example of a full set of assessment records (£4.00)
5 completed examples of initial & diagnostic assessment, action plan, assessment plan and review record, feedback and action record, assessment tracking sheet.
A set of blank templates in Word is available to purchase above: Ref AT001