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Assessment methods and meeting individual learning needs

Feb 24, 2023 | 0 comments

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Feb 24, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments


Assessment is the act of appraisal, assessing or evaluation of the achievement of a student on a course (Johnson, Mims-Cox, & Doyle-Nichols, 2006). Similarly, Gravells (2013) defined assessment as the act of judging something or the process of observing students behavior samples and drawing inferences about the abilities and knowledge of the students. Educational assessment is the process of documenting beliefs, attitudes, skills and knowledge usually in measurable terms. The educational assessment can focus on the learning community, individual learner, the education system, and the institution. When the teachers are doing assessments, they look at the behavior of the student by using a variety of types of assessment. It is in order to get the most accurate of the overall progress of the students (SQA, 2014).

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Purposes of assessment used in education and Instruction.

1. Individual assessment. This is conducted prior intervention or instruction to establish the basis from which the individual growth of the student can be measured. The purpose of individual assessment is to gain insight on the skill level of the student about a project and in helping the teacher in explaining the material more efficiently (SQA, 2001).
2. Formative assessment- this is carried out throughout the project or course in general. The purpose of formative assessment is to aid learning and provide the teacher with the feedback of the work of the students (SQA, 2014).
3. Summative assessment- this is carried out at the end of the project or course and is evaluative in nature. The summative assessment has the purpose of assigning course grade to the students, and to summarize everything the students have learned and in finding out if they understood it well.
4. Diagnostic assessment- the purpose of diagnostic assessment is to improve the experience of the learner and their achievement level (SQA, 2014).
5. Informal assessment- these result from the day-to-day spontaneous observations of the teachers of how the students perform and behave in class. The purpose of informal assessment is for the teacher to learn valuable insights about the abilities, inabilities and misconceptions of the students that might not be represented accurately by other formal assessments (SQA, 2001).

The effectiveness of assessment methods used in education and training in relation to meeting the individual needs of learners

1. Observation. Teacher observation is ignored at higher levels of education in spite of the fact that it can provide substantial information regarding learning outcomes of the student at higher levels (Maxwell, 2001). Through teacher observation, for example, an instructor can use a mode of instruction that makes it easier for the student(s) to grasp the concept being discussed. Observation allows the teacher to gain a new perspective on the students, giving insight into the behavior of students. Often teachers encounter students who are frustrating and whom they do not wish to engage for various reasons, many of which may simply be personality differences. Through observation, teachers can gain insight into how to deal with this personality differences and find creative ways to engage even students who are shy and less participative in class.
2. Questioning- it is one of the assessment methods used by teachers. They use it daily in the classroom in testing whether the learners have, understood, learned and progressed ultimately against the defined learning objectives at the start of the session. It is good for the learners to know if they have learned anything or understood what they were taught. (Gravells, 2013). Through questions, students get stimulated to ask questions themselves, their interest on the subject is aroused, certain issues that may inhibit student learning become visible, and students get the opportunity to assimilate and reflect what they have learned.
3. Tests- are done while the learning of the students is taking place with the purpose of improving learning and teaching of the individual students. They are effective since they capture the progress of the student in a program or the institution (SQA, 2001). Tests allow the teacher to measure the validity of the teaching material and method. That is, through tests teachers can see if what they are teaching is actually what the learners are learning. However, it is important to note that tests not only offer advantage to the teachers but students as well. Students are able to see where their strength lies and where they need to apply more effort and attention towards. Tests further allow students to apply their critical skills to the subject matter.
4. Professional discussion- This is a discussion between the teacher and the candidate. It is usually a pre-planned activity, where areas that were not covered during previous units are covered. If done proficiently, large gaps in evidence knowledge are also covered (SQA, 2014). Learner get to gain deeper understanding of concepts they previously were not aware of. Professional discussions are a great alternative to tests, where they can provide support and essential help to students who are constantly performing poorly in tests and whose participation in class remains wanting.
5. Witness testimony- it is one of the most reliable evidence resources if the witness is authentic. It is effective and a useful tool for helping in authentication of the evidence that the claim of the candidates have produced. Witness testimonies are often applied where the teacher sees the need to use an expert such as a psychologists or counselor to asses student behavior (SQA, 2014). Witness testimony is also vital where the teacher and the assessor are different. Witness allows the assessor to gauge correctly the level of learning, the subject matter and understanding of the individual students.
6. Assignment- this is a problem solving exercise and having a clear structure, guidelines, and specified length. According to (Johnson, Mims-Cox, & Doyle-Nichols 2006), the assignment is specifically suited to the learning outcomes assessment. It is concerned with a student application of the learning skills and the knowledge and understanding related to a situation involving management of tasks. The assignment is effective as an assessment method. It is because the development is relatively straightforward. It can access a wide range of both practical and cognitive competencies; furthermore, it provides the candidates with an excellent opportunity of demonstrating initiatives. Lastly, (Gravells, 2013) stated that it can be used in integrating assessment across units and outcomes. Assignments have specific timeframes within which they have to be completed. As a result, students get the opportunity to research their answer if they have a problem communicating in English, or answers take their time to answer the questions as appropriately as possible. .
7. Case study- according to SQA (2014), it consists of an event description generally in a text, electronic recording or a picture that concerns real situation. The case study is then followed multiple instructions prompting the candidate to analyze the situation, identify core issues and make conclusions before making suggestions or decisions on the course of action. Case studies are effective because it provides excellent opportunities for the learners to exercise skills in decision-making and problem-solving. Moreover, it allows the students to demonstrate skills in time management, information gathering, and analysis.
8. Projects- this is an essay substantially written, treating issue or subjects in depth in a formal and methodological manner. The project is always based on literature research on the subject or even original research. Project assessment methods are effective in testing the ability of the learners in applying knowledge critically, evaluating evidence from different sources. They also assist in drawing valid conclusions from the evidence and finally presenting their ideas in a coherent and clear report (SQA, 2001). Moreover, projects are effective since they allow scope for self-expression, and tests skill of higher order. Projects are effective ways of engaging and motivating learners to conduct their own research. Projects also equip students with great research and interpersonal skills.
The external and internal assessment requirements related to procedures of learning programs. Internal assessment is the self-evaluation to see if I am in line with what is required of me. External evaluation is another person a lecturer may be assessing how I am performing what I am supposed to.

Internal and awarding organization’s requirements

The school setting or a learning institution accepts the drive of improving teaching by making sure that the assessment serve the teaching purpose, and that the teaching is not negatively affected by assessments put in place for accountability. According to Johnson, Mims-Cox, & Doyle-Nichols (2006), successful teaching is grounded on evidence and are produced by learners during the activities of learning and in assessments, that shows whether; a learner has understood and learned and is capable of applying in a different situation despite many attempts of learning and teaching, a learner has not yet understood and showed achievement.

Record keeping

According to (Gravells 2013), the assessors need to keep their assessment records they have undertaken on the learners. It is necessary to keep records because it allows tracking of the learners’ progress. Moreover, the external and internal verifiers will use the records in helping them in selecting sample decision of assessments for review. Lastly, the records can also be used when monitoring the quality assurance activities in the school center.

Learner tracking

Learners tracking as a related procedure of learning program are significant to the assessor in thinking about the learner during the assessment. According to SQA (2014), in tracking the learner, the assessor need to reflect on the following questions in the way of involving and tracking the learner in the process of assessment. It encourages a sense of ownership in the process of learning:

  • Does the process of assessment match the knowledge acquisition sequence, and skills development in the training/learning program?
  • Has the assessor avoided excessive assessment by making a consideration on the learners’ workloads in across and within subjects?
  • Has the assessor reduced over assessment by finding opportunities for combining the assessments?
  • Can the assessor identify instances of evidence that are naturally occurring?
  • Is the required time for assessment realistic?
  • Has the assessor considered using the e-assessment?

Monitoring progress

In the educational system, it is very important to know the extent of the progress towards objectives, aims, and levels. Therefore, the assessment often concentrates on finding out how much have been learned by the learners. It is either done formally or informally. According to SQA (2001), in worst cases, this assessment type intensifies focus on the accountability disregarding the teaching quality.
Johnson, Mims-Cox, & Doyle-Nichols (2006) indicated that if there is a lot of pressure to achieve targets and to show the progress to the parents, it is likely that the teaching will imitate assessment. Gravells (2013) asserted that this is when the assessment negatively influences teaching.

Quality systems

They monitored the progress of the learners and the assessment and presented as a tool for improving teaching. It gives suggestions that identifying reasons and remedies is practically the same as identifying gaps. At best, quality systems provide a profile that use fine-grained on standard curriculum and offer activities for remediation that are online (SQA, 2001).

The ways in which minimum core elements can be demonstrated in assessing learners.

A minimum base according to SQA (2014) is a way in which the tutor is embedding the functional skills to the learners. For example, English assesses ability of the teacher to use their command of the language to set comprehensible and easily understood question. This means that the questions they put forward are valid, which is consistent and clearly understood by the students so that, a majority of them are able to give correct answers. Numeracy skills are demonstrated by the ability of teacher to calculate correct answers. This means that the answers are achieved through proper step by step calculation which in turn consistently leads to the same correct answer. ICT is demonstrated by the ability to provide written feedback for learners. Similarly, teachers are able to prepare handouts that provide clear and directional information for learners.

Task C
The effectiveness of my assessment practice

The most significant factor in meeting the learners’ needs understanding their individual learning requirements and needs. In my assessment practice, this has been my foundation for achievement especially the classroom environment. Currently in my practice, I have a group of 30 students, and, therefore, individual assessment of each and every student needs an understanding of each individual need and support for them to achieve the set objectives. My assessment has been effective since I have used multiple assessment methods such as observation and professional discussion hence allowing my students to perform maximally and holistically.
Moreover, my assessment practice has been effective because my rate of course completion is high; student satisfaction is excellent and the direct feedback I get from the industry has been positive. Moreover, I believe my assessment method is good because I do keep personal records of my resources and the instructional strategies I applied in my practice that were either useful or not useful.
Lastly, I do participate in the informal and formal assessment and moderation in addition to undertaking professional development such as the PD program that I hope will help me in building continuous improvement in my practice.

Areas for improvement in your assessment practice

Currently in my practice, there are also some areas that need improvement. During my practice, I always ensure that I have enough resources in meeting the learners’ needs and for each of the units they learn. The first area that needs improvement is the development of new resources and the learning processes since the resources available are limited. The organization where I practice need to put proper measures of ensuring that the resources are available for appropriate learning and assessment of the learners
Secondly, I believe I need to improve on adopting the online and digital method of assessments like the e-assessments. It is because of their reliability compared to other methods. Moreover, e-assessment is easy to use where there are many learners. Moreover, it is easy to make a comparison of the assessments results from different learners than using observation method in conducting the assessments.
I also think that I should involve my students more in the assessment process than before, and monitor their skill development and progress. It is because the learners are involved in the training because they want to develop knowledge and skills that are needed to compare their training course, get the credentials and then apply their skills where they work.


In conclusion, the essay report discussed the research carried out on assessing learners in education and training. It examined the purposes of different types of assessment and analyzed the effectiveness of different assessment methods in meeting the individual needs of the learners. Moreover, I identified the internal and external assessment requirements and related procedures of learning programs. The report also analyzed the ways in which minimum core elements in assessing learners can be demonstrated. Finally, the report reflected on what I have done and presented an evaluation that reviewed the effectiveness of my assessment practice, taking account of the views of learners and others. Furthermore, it identified areas for improvement in my assessment practice.


Gravells, A. (2013). The award in education and training. Los Angeles, California: SAGE.
Johnson, R. S., Mims-Cox, J. S., & Doyle-Nichols, A. (2006). Developing portfolios in education: A guide to reflection, inquiry, and assessment. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.
Maxwell, G. S. (2001). Teacher Observation in Student Assessment.
Scottish Qualifications Authority. (2001). Guide to internal moderation for SQA centers. Glasgow: Scottish Qualifications Authority. Retrieved from http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCIQFjAA&url=http://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/ProfessionalDiscussion.pdf&ei=VlqiVKuqGoOAzAOPs4CQCw&usg=AFQjCNEmQ0k81HwhkjtiYiU__r2ft3ZbZA&sig2=UQ4WNDtx642VM1OKCk6wUA&bvm=bv.82001339,d.ZGU
Scottish Qualifications Authority. (2014).Internal Assessment, External Assessment, and Assessment for Learning — a think piece for those involved in developing assessments. (2014, January 1). Retrieved December 30, 2014, from http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCkQFjAB&url=http://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/25GuideToAssessment.pdf&ei=VlqiVKuqGoOAzAOPs4CQCw&usg=AFQjCNHimFgXezPk-X8HlGSKZW94HkSMiA&sig2=iFz8zIK5iTW2A_b17JdJqQ&bvm=bv.82001339,d.ZGU

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