Principles of Assessment

The principles of Assessment

Assessment means you are checking the students/candidates competence or knowledge of a subject or skill against a given criteria or standard. In the lifelong learning environment this can be done in several ways. In this report I have researched from different sources to give a balanced picture of Theory and good practice.

There are three main timings of assessments, Initial assessment, summative assessment and formative assessment.

Initial assessment is geared to determining the correct course for an individual and finding out their capabilities and style of learning. The assessment may take the form of aptitude tests, interviews and reviewing previous qualifications. (Wilson 2008) states ‘at the beginning of a course programme the following may take place

    • Learner need analysis to Ensure teaching methods are correct
    • Preferred learning styles to Find out how your learners learn
    • Initial screening to Check basic skills
    • Prior Learning to Check current level of competence

One of the important factors, apart from determining the ability of the candidate to pass the course. Is the organisation’s funding may rely on candidates passing, so the more effective the initial assessment the more accurately you can judge the ability of a candidate to pass the course.

Formative assessment is generally devised by the tutor and is used during the course to check progress. The methods can be varied to suit the circumstances. This could fit in with the theory of Kolb’s learning cycle (1984). He describes how people learn from their experiences, using trial and error. In this way reflective practice builds upon things that happen.

Summative Assessment is the final, end of course assessment and can often not be changed in the way a formative one can. Each course will have an agreed method to assess the learning. The teaching may be geared to passing these tests, and they may vary in complexity depending...