Explain the purposes of types of assessment used in education and training
Assessment plays a key role in the education process: it determines much of the work students undertake which affects their approach to learning and, it can be said, is an indication of which aspects of the course are valued most highly.

According to Assessment Reform Group (UK 2002), assessment is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there. As well as Petty (2014) that stated assessment measures the breadth and depth of learning.

It is more than simply giving marks or grades and should strive to make assessment as objective, fair and transparent as possible.

Purpose of assessment

Assessment lets teachers see what progress the learner is making and provides teachers with information which assists them to plan how to help learners make further progress.

Assessment also enables the organisation to report information to the learner about the examination courses they will follow and the qualifications and careers they will seek.

Assessment also helps to set targets for the future and to measure learners’ performance. This information also lets government monitor the performance of the system generally.

Range of types of assessment

Initial assessment, using this assessment the learner’s previous skills and knowledge can be discovered. The learner will be able to see how much they can achieve during the course, it also aids the teacher to effectively plan the individual learner’s needs. The teacher can then review the learners’ progress and achievements, which improves the quality of teaching

Formative assessment is informal, you will get information about what the learner knows, understands and is able to do is used by both the teacher and the learner to say where learners are in their learning and how to reach learning goals during the teaching process. It can also assess the teacher’s progress as an instructor, enabling the teacher to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching methods.

The summative assessment is formal that takes place at the end of the learning course, module or programme. It used to measure the achievement of set criteria quality of the work produced. There is usually a grade awarded with this assessment, along with a certificate of achievement. This type of assessment is often stressful to learners and can result is failure, even though the learner is more than capable of achieving the required result under other conditions.

Describe characteristics of different methods of assessment in education and training

There are some methods that can be used to get an assessment done. You can use more than one method to achieve the assessment needed.

Questions and Answers – this helps the teacher to find out what the learner knows, the depth of their understanding and can do.

Discussion – this help the learners to talk amongst themselves about a chosen subject, share knowledge and ideas, before arriving at a conclusion.

Observations – in many cases, this is the initial method of assessing practical outcomes. This involves observing the learner while they complete a task or exercise and watching the learner perform it.

Multiple choice questions – here you are asking the learner to choose the correct answer from several alternatives. This is a very good method and makes questions appealing when you are trying to find out what the learner knows without giving any information.

Case studies – this helps with analysing situation and give suggestions.

Role play – this method enables learners to think about situations that may occur in a real time environment, anticipate the context in which they must act and the consequences of their decisions.

Peer assessment – this is when learners mark each other work by applying criteria, or mark using a model answer. Also tell each other what they have achieved and where improvement is necessary. The feedback provides specific suggestions to help achieve improvement.

Self-assessment – this when the learner marks their own work. They take accountability of their own learning and they gain much greater insight in to what is being required and subsequently their own work improves in the light of this.

Assignment – this is a learning task done by the learner through independent study. Different methods of presenting the results can be a report, an article etc.

Compare strengths and limitations of different assessment methods in relation to meeting individual learning needs.

Each learner has their specific way in which they can provide evidence to meet the requirements through a range of assessment methods. Due to this, for each qualification requirements to be achieved, the teacher needs to establish which method of assessment best suit their learner.

Here are some assessment methods:

Observations:

Strengths – This allows the learner to show what they have learnt practically. It enables the learner to see where things went wrong and can correct where necessary.

Limitations – Due to the fact that people work at different pace, timing must be arranged to suit each learner. For observation to be effective, there must be clear communication and agreements. It is challenging to have lasting record.

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