Explain the Functions of Assessment in Learning and Development

Explain the Functions of Assessment in Learning and Development
  In order to explain the functions of assessment it is important that we understand what assessment is. Assessment is a means of measuring what a learner already knows, how we can best teach them, any support requirements they might have, whether they are understanding what we are teaching and whether they have sufficiently met all criteria in order to achieve a qualification.
  There are 3 main stages of assessment some of which assess for learning and some which are an assessment of learning, all of which are beneficial to both the learner and the teacher/assessor.
  It is good practice to ensure that all members of all cohorts receive some form of formative assessment. This should take place before teaching and learning commences as it is through this stage of assessment that all prior learning or existing knowledge can be identified. This applies not just to the subject specific elements of the course but would ideally include an assessment of functional skills, primarily Maths, English and IT skills. Further to this the assessor is more able to identify individual preferred learning styles and any additional support needs for each learner.
  At this stage we are assessing for learning which benefits the assessor by enabling them to deliver a course in a way which enables learning to take place, building on prior learning and knowledge facilitating progression rather than a repetition of outcome which have already been met. They are further enabled to have all support in place prior to the start of the course and to encompass a range of learning styles in all course materials at the planning stage. This in turn benefits the learner as they are more likely to maintain interest if accessing new skills and learning, are enabled to learn through appropriate support and the inclusion of teaching/learning styles with which they are more comfortable.
  Throughout the course formative assessment...