Most courses within a learning environment will commence with a form of an initial assessment. The method of assessment may vary depending on the course due to undertaken and the facility it will be taught in. The reason we use initial assessments is as Gray, Griffin and Nasta (2001, 47) explain, “to identify each individual learner’s existing capabilities so that realistic learning goals, for example a particular course, can be identified.”
Within my teaching area the first point of contact from a prospective learner would be an application form, from this as well as personal information we can see the previous qualification and grades we can also see then if the learner is applying for the right level of course. After the application form is processed the learner will be invited in for an interview, the relevance of an interview is to meet the learner face to face, get an idea of character, to see references / certificates of qualifications, special disability requirements and to answer any question the learner or interviewee may have.
The next step is for the learner to complete a work shop within the training salon, as Hair and Beauty are vocational subjects and the majority of the course will be practical learning, it is important to see that the student has the practical skills to undertake the course applied for. It can come to light from these workshops that students have more of the practical skills required so this can then leads us to review the level of course the student is placed on.
The learners have to undertake a written initial assessment to identify their learning needs i.e functional skill that may need to be taken alongside the course( ICT, Math and English), learning styles (visual, aural or kinaesthetic) and special learning needs.
As Green (2003) states “Initial assessment needs to be done with learners rather than to them, It should be of benefit to learners and help them feel positive about themselves and their potential to learn” It is very important that this is how initial assessment is portrayed so to get the most accurate information from your learners.
The first week of the course is known as induction week. Within the timetabled session student have inductions to the college facilities and where they are located, what help is on offer for learners student finance and student support, college policy’s and code of conduct. Within this induction period the student has to enrol this is done by completing a written enrolment form which is processed in classes in allocated slots as set by the enrolment team. The forms have to be correctly completed with the tutor and processers approval.
At the start of every course the learner is designated a personal tutor, they will have regular tutorials with the learner to create and individual learner plan for the student to follow. All though this is something that I would not be involved in ILP’s are done “for each student so that they know what they need and how to identify success” (Reece and Walker, 2007). ILP’s enable the Learners to negotiate Long term, medium term and short term goals.
The ILP is student lead and is electronic living document within a program called pro monitor. This is started during the induction period of the course. It is accessed by the learner with the help of their personal tutor in a one to one session. The software hold’s personal information, goal’s and activities, strengths and development, attendance, SMART targets and Planning for the future.
Learners are encouraged to input their information in to the system to encourage them to take notice of their strengths as well as the weaknesses. So that they can set personal goals and areas of improvement so that they can decipher a personal plan to how this can be achieved. Short terms targets known as SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based) targets are then set by the tutor and learner for a