PTLLS Assignment 7

Review a range of different assessment methods available and explain the ones you would use for your subject area. Evaluate the use of assessment methods in different contexts, including reference to initial assessment. Justify the type of assessment records you would complete and explain why.

Specify the assessment methods which are suitable for your subject area. I wrote this PTTLS essay according to my subject area and working environment (a training institution). Yours could be different, however, take my assessment methods as an example to help you complete your homework by conveying your own ideas in your own words.

The training institution publishes a variety of staff training programmes, which are often tailored to meet organisations’ needs, on its annual prospectus and website. The organising and grading of learning experience and the assessment & evaluation, which are proposed in (Taylor’s, 1949) curriculum model, are conducted internally and the trainer is given freedom of choosing suitable methods.

While the planning of assessments and identification of tasks depend on the desired outcome of the course (Bygate, Skeham and Swain, 2001), and although there is often a large amount of material to be delivered, my approach has been both pedagogical and andragogical for increasing the learning value and also for making the session interesting (Gravells, 2008).

An informal discussion is conducted on the day of commencement together with a brief written test containing certain criteria and a learning style test provided by the institution. The outcome of these assessments aids in evaluating skills, knowledge level of the subject and academic qualification, and gives an idea of a suitable delivery method (Gravells, 2008).

A register is set up before the commencement of the training programme and attendance is taken throughout the training to ensure students meet the minimum hours requirements and for H&S purposes. Personal details are noted down for the issuance of the course completion certificate, and records of the initial assessment are kept for monitoring progress and for evaluation purposes.

While paying attention to inclusion, I always encourage professional discussion for covering important areas of the course and for thorough understanding of the subject. And for monitoring the learning progress, when following the training cycle, I use two other formative methods, namely observation and probing questions matching the course outcome.

And to help learners digest the subject and later recall the information, I use the ‘one-sentence summary’ technique at the end of each topic by asking learners to summarise in their own words what was learned. Their responses which are gradable indicate the learners’ proficiency. If time allows, other assessment methods could be used such as report writing for self-assessment, application card technique and learning journals for ascertaining the learner’s ability in applying theory in the real-world.

Accurate records of observations, assessments and discussions are maintained throughout the training for tracking contribution, setting goals, planning and organising the learning environment for each learner, and for validating the programme. In their report, Maxim and Five (1997) state “Keeping track of our students with classroom observations and systematic notes yields information that cannot possibly be gleaned from a traditional checklist, report card, or standardized test”.

The summative assessment is usually carried out on the final day through a case study (holistic) and an exercise to evaluate the real-world application of what has been learned and to ensure the aims of the course have been met. While activists and pragmatists enjoy the case study session, these assessment records assist in tracking progress and serve as evidence of the learner’s contribution.

Finally, a questionnaire is completed by the learners to give feedback on the quality of the delivery and assessments, trainer’s ability, group contribution, inclusion and the learner’s extent of satisfaction. The feedback and records of assessments, discussions and attendance help in writing the final report which is addressed to the learner’s training manager and help in verifying the success of the training programme. Of course records are kept confidential according to the data protection act.