There are different set of skills and capabilities that an individual possess. Further, to perform any set of roles and responsibilities it requires certain skills. The process of learning and teaching skills is something that is required in a school as a teacher (Breckwoldt, Svensson, Lingemann and Gruber, 2014). There are certain ways and strategies that are applied in order to make sure that students are being taught. This report aims to determine different methods related to assessment for teachers and methods in promoting students achievement, motivation and behaviour. Further, it includes critical and comparative analysis for deconstructing the assessment method within class room. In addition to this, it also examines impact of these strategies on learning behaviour. Moreover, overall evaluation will be made of overall effectiveness of assessment that is practised at Tech Music School and to determine current trends for grabbing students attention.
“From their very earliest school experiences, our students draw life-shaping conclusions about themselves as learners on the basis of the information we provide to them as a result of their teachers’ classroom assessments.” ... (Stiggins, 2012, p.1)
Tech Music School is a specialist and independent music college which aim at providing musical training. This report will focus on FE pathway and this is helpful enough to shape majority of teachers and is also interesting aspect for institutional perspective.
There are different type of methods that are used by teachers in order to make proper assessment. In this context, there is an examination that is Edexcel which is also known as Pearson. This is a type of multinational education body that is privately owned examination board in UK (Grover, 2015). All the student who graduate from this course get 3rd level National Diploma which is of 120 credits. Further, all the students of BTEC are assessed over the year and their progress is evaluated with the help of summative/formal (AOL) methods. In this context, it includes verbal presentations, essay submission, group projects and timed written papers. Students are provided with termly grade transcripts in which they are given feedback for each of the submission or assessments. Further, there is an assessment tracking sheet that is made for each of the groups and this is helpful for tutors to get overview of students progress. This enable tutors to identify specific learning needs. With this respect, it includes providing students with audio software, laptops, coloured papers, extra time, etc.
Another type of method is Criterion Referencing approach. This is a type of approach that is designed to measure performance of students against redetermined criteria. It includes a written paper in which students expectations on knowledge and learning is listed down and performance is compared (Bernard, Gosztonyi and Revuz, 2015). This way students are able to chart their progression on the basis of continuing/Ipsative so as to promote effort based attributions towards success. These methods are helpful enough to identify the areas in which students need improvement. As per the findings, they get to know the ways that can be implemented with the help of which identified areas can be improved.
So as to develop my understanding and overall effectiveness of assessment at Tech Music School. It is helpful for me to make proper research over formal policies and to know the trends. Further, I got to know that there is external and internal Quality Assurance system which make proper review to make sure that assessment is done fairly, accurately and consistently. Internal and external quality assurance system help to make evaluation of performance on past events and details are identified of achievements and retention for our FE provision and determine the level of improvement. Black and Wiliam (1998), stated that there are cases in which learning and teaching goes unrecognised by standards and policies which neglects the work and it goes inside Black Box. In contrary to this, learning is something that is driven by what students and teachers perform within class room.
Hinton (2007) supports this in stating that: ‘This frustration is often emotionally disruptive to students, and students can react by trying to change the assessment, or if that fails, withdrawing from the learning environment.’
Black and Wiliam (1998) refers to the term assessment as being: ‘All those activities undertaken by teachers, and by their students in assessing themselves, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged.
On the other hand, Race (2009) stated that assessment process can only be effective for promoting learning for students unless it is reliable and valid. “The process of assessment must be designed and carried out in such a way that it is effective in enabling students to demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes in relation to both subject-specific and generic skills and knowledge.”....(QAA, 2011, p.5)
The nature of assessment is vocational and subjective. This becomes controversial for fairness and reliability. Both internal and external assessment of students are made but it is difficult to measure vocal performance and this can always get affected for certain degree by personal opinion. On the other hand, according to ______ reliability can be identified in terms of soft and hard subjects.
‘Hard’ subjects such as areas of math’s and science lend themselves to better measures of agreement regarding reliability than softer subjects such as literature, psychology and philosophy.’
From this, it can be stated that the process of assessment made by Tech Music School is valid. Which includes criterion-referencing framework, summative and formative assessments. This is are helpful enough to set external and internal verification standards. This is helpful for both teachers and students in order to manage expectations. However, one of the issue that has been identified in Assessment of Learning is that it does not allow any room for differentiation (Aelterman, Vansteenkiste, Van Keer and Haerens, 2016). This is a type of fundamental obstacle which is face by me. In order to overcome, this is only possible when module content is adjusted in order to match up the criteria that is set by exam board.
On the other hand, there is a need for correlation among assessment and instruction as students get frustrated when they get to know that they are being assessed on criteria which they do not expect. This negatively affects the motivation level of students and also reduced interest for taking part in learning activities. When students get the idea of how evaluation is made, then it becomes difficult for them to adjust with it. Specially at situations when they have worked hard and do not get expected result. In order to assess the improvement, it is possible for me by checking out the previous data and to make comparison. This enables to provide with the opportunity to determine the areas in which improvement is required. As stated above, there are certain set of skills and capabilities that a teacher should possess (Furlong and Smith, 2013). In this context, when areas that students lack, that should be developed and this will be effectively determined in developing a plan for enhancing skills and capabilities. Further, there are various type of methods that are applied by different colleges or schools to make evaluation of students performance. These methods are effective enough to understand the performance of student at regular intervals. Moreover, by identifying the areas in which one lack, I am able to develop strategies to make sure that their learning is improved.
Formative assessment and Assessment of Learning (AFL) is one of the assessment criteria that is used in my class room and this is helpful enough to provide constant feedback for the quality of student's retention and their understanding towards topics that are covered. When the performance of students are not favorable, then it shows that the performance of students is not effective (Cheon and Reeve, 2013). In this context, I make use of this assessment criteria to inspire and motivate students with the help of which they get boosted up and develop their interest towards learning. Further, it also has positive perception within the mind of students and the areas that they have to improve is developed by taking help from others. With this respect, I make use of both Ipsative and formative assessments. In this context, it includes ice breakers, activities, case studies, questioning peer assessment and general observation. These are helpful enough to provide opportunities for each of the student. These cases in which I have identified that at different type of strategies used like activities, various students are different set of skills and interest and accordingly they make use of them and preset it. This is highly beneficial for develop strong interest and willingness among students. When the rate of performance is improved, then it helps to make me understand that the assessment which is followed by me is effective enough. Moreover, qualitative feedback is also provided and it enables to develop extension tasks in order to manage progress and to stretch students (Carter, 2015). With this assessment, I am able to make students motivated but these is issue of poor class room management as it consumes lot of time.
Gravells (2012) ‘You need to know what motivates your students, as their keenness to learn will affect their learning and behaviour during your sessions’. (pp.39)
There are situations when students get demotivatied. In such conditions, it is important for me to make use of Maslow's theory of Human motivation. As per this motivational theory, there are five different areas with the help of which students can be motivated. In this context, it includes needs like physiological, safety, esteem, love, and self actualization. There are many other theories similar to this one. However, this theory covers all the essential areas with the help of which students can be motivated (Furlong, 2015). This can be understood with the help of an example. In order to meet physiological need, I make sure that all the summative assessment are being scheduled on time. Further, it is being structure as per the module and is suitable logistically. In other work, physiological needs can be determined as the basic requirements or needs that teacher should fulfil. When the time of summative assessment come, then all the students will be ready and they can be provided with proper guidance and this way they will be able to reach out their potential. Further, I also make sure that the environment in which assessment is taken is highly effective. This is because, students should feel safe and secure and can perform the assessment in an effective manner. This is done by me with the help of introducing formative assessment at the first term in which similar structure is followed in summative assessment process. This is helpful enough to reduce the pressure of students and this was proper grade and markings are made. Among both summative and formative assessment, students are provided with feedback for formative exam. This is helpful enough to encourage and motivate students and to get fully engaged in the process of assessment. Among all the five needs, self esteem and confidence of students are highly important. In order to raise confidence of students, it is important for me to make sure that all the things that will be covered needs to be taught and proper information should be conveyed. This is helpful enough to raise confidence and self esteem.
Moreover, innovation strategies are developed by me in order to provide feedback with an aim to develop confidence. As a result, it will also help to raise motivation level and to focus over the progress and class effectively and efficiently. Further, I make use of goals, mission and medals to structure feedback. More specifically, I will give medal of praise to motivate and this will be followed by specific mission which is helpful to inspire and this is then connected with the personal goals of students. Further, I also motivate students to maintain personal feedback log in order to chart their progression. By delivering them feedback helps in raising motivation level. It is essential that there is proper progression that has to be focused centrally or else it becomes mission focused on ranking. This causes teacher to face different type of worse conditions or situations. As per another aspect, publication of marks can cause negative impact over the performance and behaviour (Kurniawati, De Boer and Mangunsong, 2014). Further, it also raises comparison and it demoralises students. In such conditions, I focus on praising lower achievers in front of peers and motivate them to focus on their feedbacks and rather than focusing on marks. As per my evaluation, I have identified that by involving all my learnings in assessment plan, I am able to make sure that there is no type of issues or problems that are faced by students. Further, at Tech Music School, I have identified that there is lack of transparency and this affects against efforts of classroom. This is because, students are not provided with assessment timetable until it is 3 days before exam. This act causes student to get distressed. In addition to this, the environment in which exams take place is not always conducive. Overall, with the help of assessment, I am able to develop a learning attitude within students. Further, it is helpful enough to make sure that they develop their understanding and learning. Further, issues related to behaviour within class room can stem students at any way. It includes level wise, in which the content is not being properly stimulated enough.
The strength of this initial assessment phase also has a positive impact on student retention, as ‘students on the wrong course are more likely to withdraw.’ (Armitage and Renwick, 2008,p.1)
The assessment phrase is vital as the proportion of international students within the groups is high and it enables to explore barriers to write and speak in English. In this context, I make use of case studies, quizzes, icebreaker exercises, music share, etc. These are used in order to decode learners responses. This way I am able to understand the requirements and develop the learning and overcome the issues that are faced by students.
From the above analysis, it can be stated that teachers play vital role in providing students with proper knowledge and understanding. There are different set of skills and capabilities that students possess. It is essential to make sure that proper steps are taken so that teacher are able to understand the areas in which they lack and accordingly strategies are developed to overcome the areas in which they lack. Further, there are diverse set of assessment that are made by teachers in order to make sure that they develop learning and understanding of students. Further, there are Maslow's needs that are helpful enough to boost up the moral of students. Further, it includes providing students with feedback. This is helpful for them to identify the areas in which improve is to be made in their previous performance. As a teacher, one thing that I can control is my class room. As I am aware of all the students and the part of skills and capabilities that they possess. Their performance is helpful enough for me to understand the areas in which I lack.
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- Cheon, S.H. and Reeve, J., 2013. Do the benefits from autonomy-supportive PE teacher training programs endure?: A one-year follow-up investigation. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 14(4). pp.508-518.
- Carter, A., 2015. Carter review of initial teacher training (ITT).
- Furlong, J., 2015. Teaching Tomorrow’s Teachers. Options for the future of initial teacher education in Wales. Report to Huw Lewis, AM, Minsiter for Education and Skills.