Explain how assessment is used in teaching and learning, as well as identifying two different types of assessment that you could use when teaching your subject specialism
Assessment is a valuable tool which allows teachers to measure what their students’ learn throughout different stages of the course. Teachers may use a wide range of assessment methods as a means of evaluating each of their student’s progress and achievement of learning outcomes. (Gravells, 2007 & Scales, 2008) Assessment can also be used to identify each student’s level of understanding of a topic; and to recognise where particular students’ may require additional support or have specific barriers to learning (Gravells, 2007).
There are three main types of assessment methods; Initial, summative and formative (SQA, 2008). Each will be discussed, in order to explain at which stage of a course they are utilised. I will also discuss when it is appropriate to incorporate them as a means of measuring students’ learning within the subject area I teach; animal care.  
Formative assessment
Formative assessment takes place during the teaching and learning process; the aim is to provide constructive and informative feedback to both the teacher and learner (Gray et al, 2005 & Scales, 2005) Formative assessment enables teachers to identify learner progress and to promote student learning and motivation (Petty, 2004; Gravells, 2008 & Scales, 2008). Formative assessment is specifically intended to create constructive feedback which will enhance the student’s ability to learn effectively (Sadler, 1998). To check whether learning has taken place teachers can gain formative feedback in the following ways; question and answer session, multiple choice tests, short written assignments and class quizzes (Curzon, 2004; Petty, 2004; Gravells, 2008 & Scales, 2008).
Summative assessment
Summative assessment is a formal way of evaluating learners’ achievement and provides a ‘snap-shot’ judgment of...