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Functions of Assessment in Learning and Development - Paper Example

7 pages
1865 words
Boston College
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The initial assessment is an early process of assessing and analyzing the learning and support needs of individuals. This form of assessment is undertaken as a primary form of assessment to understand the individual (Leahy and Wiliam, 2012). It develops an environment where both the learner and the teacher are able to interact and learn each other. The teacher thus identifies the specific needs of the child and can develop any support measures that can be performed.

Formative assessment includes developing some tests for the learner in either formal or informal way (Black, Harrison, Lee, Marshall and Wiliam, 2003). The teacher challenges the learner to test whether they are comfortable with the process or can come up with any modification to the learning process.

Summative assessment is normally undertaken at the end of an interaction period where the teacher tests whether the learner has understood the initial instructions given to them. Summative assessment ranks the student understanding and may include such tests as the mid-term or end term exams done at the end of a given period of training.

1.2 Concepts and Principles of Assessment

Validity refers to the certainty of particular data that is used in research or assessment. The data used in the assessment must be verifiable and must be certain and thus able to be used to make relevant conclusions.

Authenticity refers to the originality of some given data. Data used in assessment should be authentic or genuine enough and not copied.

Sufficiency refers to the state of being enough (Alexander, 2010). The data used in research should be adequate enough and the assessor should not be short of any information that is relevant to the assessment.

Currency is the state of a time period where data used in an assessment should relate to the current period and not outdated (Black, Harrison, Lee, Marshall and Wiliam, 2003).

Reliability refers to the appropriateness of an information. The data needs to be collected by professionals in a given field and is very relevant to the given study.

An assessment is only relevant and can be used to make relevant conclusions if they relate to learning. The assessor should make the right choices as pertains to the assessment and collection of data to be used in the study. The assessor needs to be fair enough in collecting the data and avoid any form of bias.

1.3 Responsibilities of the Assessor

An assessor is responsible for planning the entire assessment process. The assessor identifies the right methods and the target populations and respondents that will take part in the research (Alexander, 2010). They will also conduct the assessment by either going out to the field to collect raw data or looking for the appropriate secondary data in books and other forms of storage (Leahy and Wiliam, 2012). The assessor is also required to record all their findings such that they can use such data in the analysis of data and make an accurate conclusion based on the evidence. The assessor standardizes the findings and makes relevant recommendations based on the conclusions.

1.4 Regulations and Requirements for Assessment in an Area

The assessor needs to understand and adhere to the regulations of the target organization. A researcher must comply with the requirements of the firm and ensure that they do not violate the rules and regulations established by the organization (Black, Harrison, Lee, Marshall and Wiliam, 2003). An assessment should not negatively affect the events and programming of the target area of study. An assessor should also stick to their schedules and work.

They also need to seek permission from relevant authorities governing the organization and even the area of study. This is necessary in case of demand for security or slight interference with the schedules of the organization.

2. Types of Assessment Methods

2.1 Strengths and Limitations of Assessment Methods

Assessment method Strengths Limitations How meets learners needs

Questionnaires Fast, authentic and fast Demanding Learners respond to questions according to their feeling

Observation Minimal disruption and Authentic Demanding Quite authentic and accurate

Interviews Room for questioning and seeking clarifications and thus the respondent can explain an answer Interference with the assessment when the assessor questions the respondent

Is relatively slow Can give a conclusive finding and the accurate state of affairs and thus changes can be affected

Focus groups Fast method of assessment

Authentic The group may not represent the entire team

Poor responses Gives detailed findings that can be used to make conclusions

Case studies Fast and relevant Less authentic Makes various conclusions and recommendations

3. Planning an Assessment

3.1 Factors to Consider in Planning

The first factors to consider are the purposes and the objectives of the assessment. Before engaging in an assessment, the assessor should define the main purpose of the research and how they intend to undertake the assessment (Leahy and Wiliam, 2012). This will guide the researcher in undertaking the assessment. There is also need to have both a time and a financial schedule that will guide the assessor in undertaking his or her tasks and stick to a given time and budgetary schedule.

Another factor to consider is the interaction between the assessor and the respondents of the study. The respondents of the assessment are people and thus the respondents and the assessor must be able to communicate effectively together (Alexander, 2010). The assessor should, therefore, consider the communication between them. They also need to choose the method of assessment to be used for the practice. The instrument to be used in the assessment is also important and these may include the recording items to be used to keep the information relating to the data found.

3.2 Benefits of Using a Holistic Approach to Assessment

An all-inclusive methodology to the practice implies a universally accepted way of testing learners through which a teacher can assess the ability of a learner in a given situation (Alexander, 2010). The teacher tasks a wide range of questions to test the learner and analysis the abilities of the learner based on various factors such as their cognitive development, competency, and judgment. The teacher applies their professional competencies to analyze the learner.

The method is both efficient and effective to both parties taking part in the process since they are easy to use and allows the assessment to be thorough enough to collect all the relevant facts of the case in question. The evidence can also be used to analyze various units and enables the teacher to have a clear understanding of the learner. The teacher then uses his abilities to fully understand the judgment, competencies, and abilities of the learner.

3.3 Planning a Holistic Approach to Assessment

The first step in conducting a holistic assessment the identification of the tasks to be undertaken in the process (Alexander, 2010). The assessor should come up with the tasks to be performed and identify the right channels to use to meet the desired results. This includes the integration of the tasks with the purpose and the objectives of the assessment to enable the process to be successful.

The next step involves the determination of the desired outcomes. This is a planning process where the assessors analyze the results to be expected from the assessment. Another step is the determination and assemblage of the occupational and vocational competencies required for the assessment (Black, Harrison, Lee, Marshall and Wiliam, 2003). In this step, there is need to determine all the essential components of the assessment and factoring them into the process to make the process holistic enough and cover all the essential parts of the assessment and enable the teacher to understand the learner fully.

3.4 Types of Risks Used In Own Area of Responsibility

The most common risk in most assessments relates to health and safety. The assessor or the respondents of a survey may experience health challenges and thus possess a challenge to the assessment process. While planning the assessment, it is essential that an assessor factors in measures to mitigate health and safety issues.

Another risks relate to undue pressure on the learner and thus may not be able to take part effectively in the assessment. The assessor needs to accord time to the learner to relax and have time to respond to the questions adequately. There are other risks such as inauthentic evidence where the learners and the assessors can come up with unrealistic data (Black, Harrison, Lee, Marshall and Wiliam, 2003). They normally adjust the findings to suit a predetermined results and thus make the reporting of the research easy. Further overassessment is another issue that bothers the privacy and other factors relating to the learner. In this case, the learner is not free to conduct their activities since they are being monitored by assessors.

Learners may also be a threat to the assessment by withholding information that could be more relevant to the assessment (Griffin, McGaw, and Care, 2012). This is due to their fear of contradiction for exposing such facts. This fear, therefore, forces them to pretend and over shallow information that is not factual.

3.5 Minimizing Risks through Planning

The process of planning is integral to the entire assessment as it eradicates the risks that are faced in the process. Firstly, the assessor needs to determine the appropriate methods of collecting data since poor methods and instruments of data recording can easily render the data found obsolete (Griffin, McGaw, and Care, 2012). Further, the assessor needs to interact with the respondents effectively to ensure that they are able to relate well. This will ensure that the learner can respond to the questions posed by the teacher freely without fear of being victimized.


4. Involving Learners and Others in Assessment

4.1 Significance of Involving Learners in Assessment

The involvement of the student in the entire process is likely to improve the quality of the entire assessment. Learners will be part of the solution where they will also take part in carrying out the assessment making the entire process easy to use. It will make the learner be part of the process and thus will participate freely. The learner will thus be able to respond to the questions used in the assessment in a much better way.

It also improves the transparency of the process whereby by involving the learner, the later understands all the concepts of the process and thus are likely to take an active role and even contribute towards making the process more successful (Black, Harrison, Lee, Marshall and Wiliam, 2003). It improves the general efficiency of the practice where all the parties taking part in the assessment are able to play their part effectively.

4.2 Information Availed To Learners and Other People Taking Part in The Assessment Process

The learners and other parties to the assessment should be informed on the types of evidence to be used in the study and the methods that will be used to collect such data. This will enable the respondents to understand their role in the process and know how they can assist.

The learner should also understand the feedback mechanisms needed (Leahy and Wiliam, 2012). The assessor should inform the learners of any form of feedback and how they were going to respond to them for various events taken during the process.

There is also need to inform the learners about the practical arrangements may band that should disclose all the infor...

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