Principles and Practice of Assessment

Research the following points:
a) Principles of assessment, different methods, strengths and limitations of these, relevant to your subject area, which can effectively meet the individual needs of learners. (350-500)
Prior to discussing the assessment process it is significant to start with a definition from Gravells which states ‘Assessment is a way of finding out if learning has taken place. It enables you, the assessor; to ascertain if your learner has gained the required skills and knowledge needed at a given point towards a course or qualification” (Gravells, A 2009:7). There are different types of assessment, “initial (at the beginning) formative (ongoing) and summative (at the end)” (Gravells, 2009:21).
Assessments are set internally (i.e. by you, your organisation) or externally (i.e. by an awarding/examining body), and are usually subject to quality assurance requirements.
In this respect, whichever assessment type you decide to use you need to ensure that it adheres to the principles of assessment, in that it is valid/current (relevant/appropriate to the subject area/qualification being assessed), authentic (solely produced by the learner), sufficient (covers all the standards/learning outcomes), reliable (consistent across learners), fair (inclusive i.e. available to all learners) and ethical (upholds confidentiality and integrity, and maintains health and safety). (Gravells   2009:24 & Gravells 2010:62)
There are a multitude of assessment methods at your disposal to assess learners and check their progress. These include observation, questions, portfolio/assignments, tests/exams, discussions/debates, simulation and   tangible evidence. As you would expect each method has its own strengths and limitations, and we are going to look at a select few to highlight this.
In terms of observations, their strength lies in their authenticity in that you as the assessor actually watch the learner performing a particular skill, and can assess for yourself...