Understanding the Use of Different Assessment Methods and the Need for Record Keeping Essay

Is an essential part of the assessment cycle, feedback shows both learners and trainers how they are progressing. It is not a criticism and should be helpful to learners to understand their behaviour and actions. Scales (2008 p195) states, “Feedback is an essential element in effecting communication between teachers and learners”.

Feedback is a two way process and needs to be positive. It can be delivered verbally, written or electronically. It should be delivered descriptively with consideration, be positive and constructive, specifically targeted at the learners areas of development and be motivating.Feedback assessment with just statements, of “Well done” or “Good” is not really constructive or helpful and may not be entirely true, this does not addressing what was good or why for instance. Scales (2008 p196) states, “The willingness of learners and teachers to give and receive feedback is at the heart of formative assessment”. The feedback sandwich is a well trusted and standard model of delivering feed back.

The trainer should first ask learners for self assessment followed by trainers positive recognition of achievements and strengths on top.With areas of development or changes needed, in the middle, and finally positive motivation and back to strengths underneath. Feedback should be neither too extensive nor brief and if there are many areas of change a learner need to address, a maximum of only 3 should be given initially, so the learner is not overwhelmed. When receiving feed back learners feel venerable, feedbacks emotional affect should never be underestimated. Scales (2008 p197) comments, Learning has an emotional component as well as intellectual: I would suggest that the emotional element has the greatest impact on learners achievements”. Therefore time should be taken to deliver feedback positively and correctly, with who, why, where, when, how, as the trainers guide when planning or delivering feedback. Though trainers may find this time consuming it is a necessary and essential part of progression for learners and for a trainers own evaluation towards their continuous development.

It is usually delivered one to one or can be whole group feedback.One to one tutorials are a standard method of review, allowing sensitive feedback, (not just giving opinions), and giving full attention to the learner. Trainers can also receive feedback from the learner on their perceptions of the sessions. Trainers may feel they have delivered a course well, however sometimes the learner’s evaluations can give a very different vision. For example, the learner may feedback the trainer has been vague or omitted on some points of learning. At all stages of learning feedback back helps motivate and encourage learners and trainers.Gravells (2009 p59) states, “All Learners need to know how they are progressing and what they have achieved.

Feedback will encourage and motivate them”. Trainers will often use formative oral group feedback in their sessions. Not all learners are happy with this method; a good alternative is to have a suggestion/feedback box. However trainers may also receive comments, criticisms and complaints with this kind of feedback. It is important trainers review the feedback box with their learners; after all they took the time to fill them in.Further to this trainers need to be aware of their impact when marking assessment papers.

Importantly, not to write all over the learners work in red pen, with lots of crossing out, this can be wounding to the learner. Assessment comments need to be clear and unambiguous. When giving grades it is important learners understand the criteria and as in the author’s case, favours a pass mark method in figures rather than an overall % percentage mark.

This method avoids the low percentage bracket a “just passed” learner may receive. There are many inds of feedback forms, and it is always wise to have several in a trainer’s tool kit. Within the authors sector the courses are primarily one day events, feedback questionnaires are usually presented at the end of the session. These are usually generic, and do not always meet the needs of the learners or given course. To achieve qualitative data the author tailors the questionnaires to the session, with predominantly open style questions, demanding a full response. As apposed to closed questions with yes/no answers, which usually achieves only quantative data.Feedback must be recorded and filed for quality assurance purposes, further action, planning, audit trails and management review.

Feedback can help the trainer to evaluate their courses and learners. T5 Embedding functional skills Functional skills provide essential knowledge and understanding to learners. The mastery of these basic skills are empowering to all learners, particularly to learners with learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

These core skills in English, Mathamatics and ICT, transfer to all areas of life and are fundamental to any adult seeking employment.The Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency, (Dec. 2010) states, “We all need a range of skills to succeed in our jobs and in our lives. Functional skills are the practical skills in English, information and communication technology (ICT) and mathematics that allow people to work confidently, effectively and independently in life”. Gravells. (2008 p70) states, “ Numeracy, Literacy and information technology are transferable skills.

This means they can be transferred to different situations/contexts as well as being used in the learners particular subject area”.Embedding these skills into all teaching, training and particularly vocational training has been seen to be the most effective way of imparting this knowledge. The National Research Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy, (2010) research states, “Embedded courses had higher success rates than the non-embedded courses”. The author’s training courses are largely vocational, and are mostly standardised formats.

To embed functional skills would be more a process of adaptation. Fortunately within the authors company, there is some provision for functional skills training provided by the BFWAU. Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union. ) To promote this learning the trainer could work closely with BFWAU and the learners, communicate any learning difficulties, and supporting those learners to take up functional skills courses. Within the author’s Health and Safety courses English would be embedded through group work, listing their health and safety areas of concern and corrective action ideas, along with reading manufacturers instructions on the wearing of PPE, (Personal protective equipment), both these activities embed reading, writing, listening skills, discussing and debate.Further to this, Mathematics and ICT could be embedded by asking learners to design their own S.

O. P’s, (Standard operation procedure) for a particular task, on PC, involving, internet research, observation, digital photograph (understanding camera numerical setting), measuring (distances and objects) reading and word processing. In the trainers Food Safety courses English is embedded with quizzes at the end of each section of learning, with reading, writing and discussion. Mathematics could be embedded when studying time and temperatures for baking and storage.With the use of a blank thermometer chart; (instead of the existing completed charts) Learners study a group of pre printed card with all the correct times and temperatures on them, and then place them on the thermometer chart accordingly.

Further functional mathematics (spaces) could be embedded when using the “Factory/Kitchen flow diagram”, again using a blank diagram and pre cut shapes. Asking learners to work out for themselves, the best suited positions and spaces for factory/kitchen flow.The Level Two in Food Safety training is already embedded and can be achieved with ICT CD learning alone.

T6: Record Keeping Trainers need a full understanding of their roles and responsibilities for record keeping in their company or organisation. Record keeping is an important key role of a trainer, trainers will often be responsible for all records, learners ILP. ( Individual learning plan. ) of the courses they teach.

Training records are primarily a record of what the learner has achieved, though may also contain personal information, for example, if the learner has a learning difficulties.Records are usually kept on paper files and/or electronically (training data bases). As in the authors sector, records can be held internally within a company or held externally with awarding bodies, for example, the Royal Society for Public health which holds the authors certification records and sends out reminders for renewal.

HR records on employees are generally separate from training records, and will contain a good deal of sensitive information, such as addresses, contracts of employment, attendance, appraisals and disciplinary files.HR records and training records are protected in law by The Data Protection Act; all employees of a company must abide by the acts regulations, for example the regulation within the act on security and confidentiality for instance. In all cases records should be originals not copies, and are usually kept for a 3 year period.

Learners have rights to view their own records under the Freedom of information act. Further to this trainers will need to record of training meetings, communicating and any standardisations with other trainers in the company.As in most organisations these records are imperative for purposes of, audit trail, such as BRC (British retail consortium) the regulating body for the trainers food industry sector. Also for legislative requirement, such as Environmental Health Officers, quality assurance, Health and Safety and not least, learners progress record.

Training records are also the main aspect of assistance when planning future learning needs and the company’s training goals. T7: Methods of assessment. Assessments main function is to ascertain what learning has taken place.

Assessment should be valid and reliable, and ensures trainers as well as learners have a correct and sound understanding of the knowledge and skills needed to attain a qualification or programme, it is regular and ongoing. The purpose of assessment falls into 5 main categories. Initial, (at the beginning) diagnostic (example: testing for existing knowledge), formative, (ongoing) summative (at the end) and ipsative (self). Gravells (2009: p7) states, Assessment is a regular process: it might not always be formalised, but you will be observing what your learners are doing, asking them questions, and reviewing their progress.Assessments can be either set internally by a company or organisation, with formal or informal tests, or set externally by examination bodies, usually at the end of the course with formal written papers. Trainers need a sound understanding of their role and responsibility, policy and procedures within their companies’ assessment process.

The author uses initial, formative and summative methods of assessment. Initial assessment includes; formal diagnostics literacy and numeracy testing at interview and in T. N.

A. Training Needs Analysis) with trainers self assessment, S. M. A.

R. T. assessment planning, and initial learner assessments. The trainer’s formative assessment methods include observation, questioning, discussion, quizzes, group projects, simulations activities or role play and ICT learning.

For example, quizzes are delivered at the end of each section in food safety courses, for recap and discussion, with advantages for learners in seeing previous exam questions. A disadvantage however is they do not necessarily reflect the learner’s level of knowledge.Culture Based Safety courses use role play to demonstrated situations and procedures, very good for quick learning by doing and linking theory to practice, though they need control and not everyone wants to participate. The authors training courses are concluded with either, summative internally set multiple choice papers and handouts, as in an “Allergen Awareness”, or “Culture Based Safety course”. Or a formal externally set written exam paper: as in, “The level 2 in food Safety and Catering certificate”, from The Royal Society for Public Health.Trainers of Food Safety courses are also permitted to use triangulation (more than one assessment method), example, ICT, oral and written work together, to assist food operative learners with any learning difficulties to achieve this legislative requirement for certification. Process assessment is often used to assess S. O.

P training (Standard operating Procedures), with formative refresher training on; routine techniques for operating machinery, H. A. C. C. P.

(Hazard analysis critical control points) and other Health and Safety procedures.Competency based N. V. Q’s. (National Vocational Qualifications) are now being introduced in to the author’s company. Promotion by the trainer and the union are now making them more available, though difficulties of time off the shop floor to study, versus production, are ongoing.

These could be over come with the trainer, managers and unions working together to fit the training in the regular scheduled gaps in production, further to this the trainer could look at standardising with other more successful sites.Though not use by the author at present, ipsative assessment is a form of self assessment against ones own progress and not against others or a standard. A useful tool for tracking ones own progress against self designated targets or company targets. This form of assessment would be useful, as the trainers sector is target driven. Another useful assessment tool is the learning journal (can be formative and summative) used in part by the author. This informative method can be used by either learners or trainers.It can reinforces learning points by listing, promotes creative thinking by asking learners/trainers to compile a tool kit of materials or ideas.

It also allows reflection on learning and empowers learners to express any concerns they may have or what personal development needs they may aspire too.References. http://www. qcda. gov. uk/qualifications/ Functional Skills.

The Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency, (Assessed Dec. 14th 2010) Gravells Ann (2008 reprinted 2010 p70) Functional Skills. Preparing to Teach in Lifelong Learning Sector.

Learning Matters Ltd. Exeter. (Assessed Dec 14th 2010) http://www. nrdc. org. uk/uploads/documents/doc_3188. pdf/ Embedding Functional Skills.

The National Research Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy, (Dec 16th 2010) Scales Peter (2008 p195) Giving Feedback. Teaching in the Life Long Learning Sector. Open University Press. Maidenhead.

(Assessed Dec 17th 2010) Scales Peter (2008 p196) What is feedback and what is it for. Teaching in the Life Long Learning Sector. Open University Press.

Maidenhead. (Assessed Dec 17th 2010) Scales Peter (2008 p197) Guidelines for giving feedback. Teaching in the Life Long Learning Sector. Open University Press. Maidenhead. (Assessed Dec 17th 2010) Gravells Ann ( 2009 p59) Giving feedback Principles and practice of assessment in Life Long Learning Sector.

Learning Matters Ltd. Exeter. (Assessed Dec 14th 2010) Gravells (2009: p7) Concepts and principles of assessment. Principles and Practice of Assessment in the Life Long Learning Sector.

Learning Matters Ltd. Exeter. (Assessed Dec 16th 2010)