Promoting a learner-centre approach for an assessment is a good way of in keeping with individual learning. Moreover it promotes independent study to a point, because it works hand in hand with the strengths and abilities of the student which gives them confidence in their ability so in that way they are motivated. This therefore is an open example of andragogy learning, which is self-directing and empowers to learn. It creates an impulse to self assess and self reflect, which is the best form of learning as it is active.
Practical work assessment is normally classified under a learner-centred approach as it mainly involves the student’s activities and their own way of doing or expressing something. In this way, practical assessments (which can include lab work, problem solving, computer simulations or anything that can produce a material result example: baking a cake, singing a song) keep students ‘on task’ where there is minimal area to deviate or wander off subject. Students are normally more excited about doing a practical exam as opposed to having to put pen to paper for a couple of hours so this gets their attention and creates a sense of urgency.
It is also useful to have this kind of assessment method because it is easy to modify, to make room for those with a disability, to alter some steps for those with a different individual learning method. Having done a practical assessment promises a better interpretation of concepts learnt through practice, trial and error and consistency. The limitations include health and safety requirements and specifications, it is also quite time consuming to run and prepare, also, physical materials are needed such as a labs, computers, ovens, etc so this can only be done where and when opportunity is available.
Portfolios, with carefully selected and justified collections of student’s work, are another form of assessment that could be learner-centred. Most of all, it is a good way of measuring progress and standard. Within this concept, students feel that need of working towards a goal and they can focus on the next topic or work being their best topic and so forth. Portfolios sometimes show merging of information or knowledge, showing what they have learnt in previous topics appears again in the current topic and carry itself forward.
It does require a high level of responsibility from the student though, as it is quite demanding to be consistent and it is also time consuming for both the teacher and the student. Assignments are probably best to fit into this category as well. Assignments offer an opportunity to develop and extend an argument in which the student may be confident in writing about. This means that they can delve into details of a subject and not merely skim the surface and learn the basics.
The only limitations is that is it is highly subjective, the topic is hardly exploring more than aspect and therefore only demanding the development of a certain event or argument. When assessing, the observer must make sure that they are making sure that the assessment delivers quality. They must make sure that they are carrying out their role according to standards and procedures set by higher awarding bodies. This is best dealt with by planning an assessment carefully. No planning can cause a disruptive and expensive, time-consuming mess and still fail to achieve what it was set out to do.
It could also become the source of argument and disagreement with those of higher authority, so again, this comes back to ensuring quality. First of all, the plan should be built around the question, “WHAT is being assessed? ” What does the student need to show, know or produce? And most importantly; to what standard and under what conditions? The assessment plan must also have a clear indication of the outcome. Taking a holistic approach means that you consider the person as a whole, not just a physical, which would mean you take into consideration mind, body and spirit, which gives the assessment more of a textured approach.
This could suggest that the assessment encourages working the body, and stimulating the mind to get maximum results, knowing that the student has explored a diverse means of showcasing his knowledge. They may feel less intimidated and more inclined to show what they know as opposed to fearing being tested on what they do not know. Holistic planning could include planning around individual learning to assure that the assessment provided is best suited to the learner’s ability. This could be done by having the main goal of the assessment at hand and writing down different ways of assessing quality and capability.
Holistic planning gives a fuller outcome after an assessment as it is planned on a ‘larger’ scale. It is sometimes evaluated by collecting evidence from the learner via multiple dimensions (coursework, observations, presentations, tests etc. ) then sum up the learners overall performance holistically with a single grade. There may be always risks present during an assessment setup tied to the assessor’s responsibility. First and foremost, it is the assessor’s responsibility to turn up for the assessment or assign an appropriate invigilator for the day, they should be clearly informed of the day and time beforehand.
Reminders could be distributed, as an early confirmation to make sure everything will run smoothly. It is also important that the students turn up for the exam, that they will be fully informed of their assessment day and time, and their correct placement or running order within the assessment period is sorted and confirmed beforehand. This could be printed out and put on a notice board or handed to the students as a hand-out, or put on an online student portal. Assessors and invigilators must also make sure that there is no cheating going on during and exam and if there is, they should report it or give out warnings.
The consequences of cheating must be made clear before the assessment starts. Invigilators and assessors must also be very aware of the individual assessment each student is taking, therefore handing them the correct paper, by taking extra care and completing checklists or having a visual plan to follow of who is to be assessed in what way or with which paper. There also may be a risk that the assessor may not have informed themselves with the updated version of the syllabus which risks the assessment being pointless and the students studying the wrong thing.
Teachers checking on curriculum requirements regularly, even if it has been the same for a while, and signing up for newsletters from the board can avoid this. Assessors and invigilators must also take into consideration usual Health and Safety procedures making sure the fire exits are clear and accessible, that there is sufficient ventilation and hazards such as trailing wires are sorted out before students enter the room. Planning an assessment must include planning to avoid risks and having solutions ready just in case they occur.