Principles of assessment in lifelong learning
Assessment is key to the learning process, whether it be to assess if a learner is capable of entering onto a course to assessing their development on the course. There are different types of assessments that teachers can use to gauge the progress of their learners. Here we will study the varying types and methods of assessment whilst analysing how to involve the learner in the assessment process and the importance of keeping records of assessments.
When judging assessment types and methods it is important to establish if the evidence produced is valid and sufficient to meet the criteria, if it is authentic and if the assessment would produce the same results when assessed by numerous assessors. One way of dividing assessments into two different types is through the use of formative and summative classifications. Formative assessment sees the learner take part in a series of low intensity assessments throughout a course whereas summative assessment sees the learner take part in an examination type assessment at the end of the course (Johnson, Jenkins, 2009). Formative assessment can result in significant learning gains but only when the assessment results are used to inform the instructional and learning process (Black & William, 1998). In courses where there is a grade at the end then summative assessment tends to be used. This would normally involve an unseen examination which involves high stress levels for the learner. An examination ensures the work is authentic but due to the stress levels involved not all learners may do themselves justice in this setting. Also some learners may master the technique of meeting criteria and scoring a high grade without having a full comprehension of the topic. Furthermore, they provide information too late about a student's performance (Popham, 1999) and they are disconnected from actual classroom practice (Shepard, 2001)
Formative assessment may take the form of an essay,...