Assignment Module 2Select an assessment cycle from a course on which you teach. Using appropriate assessment terminology and relevant theories, critically evaluate the assessment cycle in terms of: – the overall purpose and type of assessment used – the appropriateness and effectiveness of the assessment methods – how assessment is recorded and used to promote learning – how inclusivity is maintained within the cycleCritically evaluate the effectiveness of the scheme to determine whether it is fit for purpose. Explain your reasoning and justify any improvements you would make. 2000 wordsIn this essay I shall explain the different types of assessments that are used, whythey are used and for what purpose.
I will discuss how effective theseassessment methods are and how they are recorded. With particular reference tomy teaching. I will explain the way in which assessment is used to promoteinclusivity and learning by progress recording, being essential for learners withinthe learning schema and critically evaluate this assessment cycle as a whole.We spend a lot of time assessing and evaluating our learners and also beingassessed and self evaluating, for that matter.
There are many different types ofassessment including, diagnostic, formative and summative. In the case ofdiagnostic assessment, we use this to find out if the learner is of the ability toenter the chosen course and sometimes it is to measure how well the learner isgetting on in the duration of the course. My learners are continuously beingassessed by me using different methods and they are also assessing themselvesand each other at certain points of the course. Understanding the style of mylearners is important for me in order to plan my lessons and assessmentactivities accordingly.
I encourage my learners and keep them motivated andchallenged by changing my task based activities to encompass variety.Formative assessment is something that is taking place continuously and is anOn going form of measuring and progress checking of the students and givingfeedback. This can be in many forms, for instance I use CCQ??™s (conceptchecking questions), this is assessment, as I learn whether my students haveunderstood the concept or context.
Short, written gap fill exercises are anotherway of assessing spelling and writing ability, knowledge and understanding. I userole play and presentations to build confidence and check correct language use.On a daily basis I am continuously assessing. The students review their learningby doing review exercises at the end of each class. I review their previouslearning at the beginning of the new class the next day.Harmer States,???Formative assessment relates to the kind of feedback teachers give students as the course is progressing and which, as a result may help them to improve their performance.
This is done at a micro-level every time we indicate that something is wrong and help students to get it right. (The Practice of English LanguageTeaching, J.Harmer, fourth edition, Pearson Longman, 2007, p 379).Summative assessments are usually external examinations set by awardingbodies.
These are set so that the learner can show what, how much or how wellthey have acquired the knowledge during the course and whether deeperlearning has taken place. This summative assessment would normally be inplace to award a certificate to the learner to prove the level of learning that hasbeen achieved.I teach English, to foreign students of all ages and, ESOL skills for life to adults.For the purpose of this assignment, I have chosen my foreign internationalstudents who I teach intensive 3 week courses in English Language. The firstpoint of assessment is the initial diagnostic assessment in the form of ???PlacementTests??™ which are based on the schema the students will follow once their levelhas been decided. These tests are undertaken before the learners have beenallocated a class on the course.
This is to ascertain what level each learner is atin their previous learning in order to place each learner at the correct level and inthe right class.At this stage we can also pinpoint any barriers to learning that the learner mayhave. For example a learner could have a hearing or sight impairment or dyslexiaor other disability that may have not come to light in the application stage of theprocess. These are not external assessments but internal and are solely for ourrecords and, the learners start point and also to monitor and record furtherprogress as the learning is taking place throughout the course. The assessmentcycle of the English course is set within the scheme of work. Formativeassessment is On-going and the summative assessment is used to offer the??™EFCELT??™ certificate which is awarded by Cambridge University. This summativetest/assessment is composed of direct and indirect component testing material.Therefore being a very effective, valid and reliable testing method.
Harmer states,???A test item is direct if it asks candidates to perform the communicative skill whichis being tested. Indirect test items, on the other hand, try to measure a student??™sknowledge and ability by getting at what lies beneath their receptive andproductive skills. Whereas direct test items try to be as much like real lifelanguage use as possible, indirect items try to find out about a student??™slanguage knowledge through more controlled items such as multiple choicequestions or grammar transformation items. These are often quicker to designand, crucially, easier to mark, and produce greater scorer reliability.
??™ (ThePractice of English Language Teaching, J.Harmer, fourth edition, PearsonLongman, 2007, p 381/382).The lessons are taught using the course text books; however individual lessonplanning is essential to keep the lessons from being boring. A fun element isimplemented using task based learning methodology within the lesson plans. Soactive learning is promoted.In contrast, in the ???skills for life sector??™, most of the students are directed to usthrough the job centre. Most of them are unemployed or in very part time work.Some of these learners have reached high levels of study in their own respectivecountries before settling in GB.
However in order to gain employment they needto be able to communicate. Effectively, they need to be able to read, write andspeak in English. Communication, be it written, verbal or visual is key toprogression of any form. The overall purpose of assessment is to measureknowledge, or skills and attitude towards learning. The type of assessment usedhas to be relevant to the learning context. To this end, I feel assessment is mostimportant and relevant to real learning as a type of communication betweenlearner and assessor.Further more, we must keep in mind the importance of feedback as an essentialcomponent of assessment so that the learner can improve where improvement isnecessary, and the teacher can see where they themselves need to improve oncontent or delivery of the lesson, in order to facilitate the progression of thestudents learning journey.Perrie states,Students should always be given feed back and advice on their progress andhave the opportunity to learn from their mistakes.
??™ (???Characteristics of an effective assessment??™, Perrie, 2003, p.86)The appropriateness and effectiveness of the assessment methods is essentialto learning. The courses are for international students who have perfect linguisticability in at least 1 language, usually their own native language.
The learners arehappy to be in London, learning English. They put their abilities in to practicestraight away by talking to native speakers when not in a class room setting. So,learning is taking place all of the time.
Therefore they can assess their ownprogress using their ???learning Passport??™ when not in class. Self assessment andpeer assessment takes place during class. Often I will write a sentence orsomething someone has said on the board and then ask the class if they thinkthat it is correct. Often a discussion is started until we have reached the correctanswer. Self assessment is something the learners can do using their text booksas we go through I often ask the learners to mark their own work or swap booksand mark each others work. I always monitor and help.For any kind of assessment to be effective it needs to be valid and reliable.
A testcan only be valid if it tests what it is supposed to test within the context of thelearning schema and it can only be reliable if it is consistent with the results. Perrie states,???The assessment method should be valid in order to measure the intention of theassessment. For example, to assess practical ability, it should look at how theresults were obtained in addition to the results themselves. Assessments have tobe reliable and consistent using criteria and marking schemes should be conciseso that grades are consistent when more than one assessor marks the work orwhen one assessor marks the work on different occasions. The assessmentshould be transparent and fair, be clearly aimed at meeting the learningobjectives for the topic and all students should have the same opportunity tosucceed.
Deadlines for course work should be staggered across modules andnot just within one module to make assessment manageable for both studentsand the tutors. The assessment should be streamlined to ease the burden ofmarking and giving feedback. (???Characteristics of an effective assessment??™, Perrie, 2003, p.86)? Assessment is recorded and used to promote learning throughout the course byway of constant monitoring of set exercises, homework, individual and groupprojects, class discussions, role plays and feedback. For my International EnglishLanguage course, the students have text books which they keep as???learninglog??™, these are updated every lesson in order to record what they have eachlearned so far. I keep a progress log of my learners which I update during thecourse. I have designed this for myself and start by recording names, ages,student learning background and initial diagnostic assessment results.
I then logtheir individual progress on a daily basis. This helps me to keep to the learningoutcomes required of the students so that I can then adjust my teachingaccordingly. Learners usually know or are aware of their weaknesses andstrengths and once I have discussed ways of bridging this by helping themunderstand what they can do, I further their confidence by highlighting theirstrengths and make a point of discussing these and praising them.I do know that I have felt so much more in control of my own learning during theprocess of this course due to the reasoning behind assessment and also thethought that we are, as learners, assessing ourselves at the same time byrecapping on our knowledge of what we are being taught and filling in any gapsin information. At the same time we are in fact enabling deeper learning to takeplace through this process of practice, assessment and feedback and selfevaluation.The Students are also given opportunity to assess each other as well during pairwork and group work exercises.
They know their own weaknesses and strengthsand this is talked about in the one to one feedback.Inclusivity is maintained within the cycle by giving the students ???a learningpassport??™. This records each student??™s individual learning journey. It is theirs tokeep and record key learning points as we progress through the course, howeverit is stamped by me in order to verify, that they have truly achieved the statedlearning outcome, within the learning schema. I only stamp each stage once theyhave shown me proof of their learning. This is a part of the continuousformative assessment.
I make sure it is an inclusive learning experience byhanding some responsibility for their learning, over to the learners themselves.They are asked to set a class contract which they have full power over. Once theclass rules have been set the learners choose the relevant benefits for goodbehaviour and the relevant punishment for bad behaviour.
They do thisdemocratically by discussion and come to an agreement. They are also given achoice of topics they would like to study (within the English language learningcontext) as well as the set topics which are already set as ??? Core Units??™ in thelearning schema. This gives them power over their own learning andpersonalises it to an enjoyable and inclusive learning experience.In a language learning environment learners can be very self conscious to speak,being afraid of ???getting it wrong??™. In this instance topics that they choosethemselves are used to make them feel relaxed and knowledgeable in theirchoice topics, to be able to talk about them in English. This plays a huge parttowards an inclusive learning agenda.In my experience this way of learning is very effective.
Over the period of each 3week course I have recorded great achievement and improvement in the EnglishLanguage levels of the students. Not only this, but also a huge increase in theirconfidence and ability. Most of these international students have learnt Englishgrammar to some level, in their respective countries. However, as witheverything else if we do not practice something we have learnt it is usuallyforgotten or lost. The ???Action Learning Pathway??™ that is used by this school ofEnglish is very effective as the key principles are set as:Knowledge = Practice = Project = ResultIn order to help learners Improve and learn English these key principles haveproven to be effective. A lot of emphasis is put on the ???Practice??™ part.
The keybeing that, the more practice in speaking, writing and reading that the learnersget, the better learning is achieved. During this is the ongoing assessment andfeedback.As well as other learning experiences the students, each live with native Englishspeaking families. Here, they need to communicate on a daily basis for theirbasic needs and to hold conversations about daily life and cultural experienceshere in London as compared with their respective countries. They experienceBritish food and culture. This enables them to have a wealth of experiences totalk about during class discussions. A lot of encouragement is given and praisefor achievement.The only point I would criticise and that needs attention is that these learnershave so much to do and experience outside of the classroom that sometimesthey can be very tired during lessons.
Sometimes this has been concerning forme, however, it is overcome by allowing extra breaks and refreshments duringlessons.I have evaluated the effectiveness of the scheme and feel it is fit for purpose. Thepurpose being that the Learners are here for 3 weeks to learn English. They areexposed to the English language in class, outside class and at home with theirhost families. Learning and assessment is continuously taking place in one formor another in the correct context and in line with the schema, in order to worktowards the summative assessment. The results speak for themselves and I amvery pleased to be part of an organisation that is at the forefront of the newteaching revolution.
(Words 2448 including references)BibliographyJeremy Harmer, ???The practice of English language teaching??™, fourth Edition, Pearson Longman, 2007.Perrie, ???Characteristics of an effective assessment??™, 2003.Roehampton University.Ann Gravells, Principles and Practice of Assessment in the lifelong learning sector, Learning matters, 2010.Susan Ainslie and Alwena Lamping, Assessing Adult Learners, CiLT, 1995.