1.1 Analyse the role and use of initial and diagnostic assessment in agreeing individual learner goals
During my role as a trainer it is important that each new learner has a starting point from where to commence the training. This can be found by the use of initial assessment procedure.
Initial assessment is a vital link to the learning process, it is a formal and informal process that identifies each learners starting point. It helps to identify learner’s current levels of ability and their need for support in functional skills and personal and social skills. This is the time where I will get to learn my learner, every learner has to start somewhere.
Initial assessment it provides a chance to assess my learner’s current knowledge and experience and will enable me to ensure the learner is enrolled on the correct course to suit their needs.
During this initial assessment process I can find out if the learner has any individual needs they may have and the support that may be required and ascertain the learning preference if there is one. The Equality Act (2010) stipulates that education providers are legally obliged to make reasonable adjustments in order to help learners with disabilities participate and achieve in education.
It is not just about me though, the learning process should be based around the learner and this initial assessment stage will allow the learner to indulge any concerns or worries about the course.
Using this initial approach and by being proactive I can then help me to plan the course to suit the learners needs and requirements. By using initial assessment I can then begin to lay the foundations for my learners learning journey. Ann Gravells and Susan Simpson state in Passing Ctlls Assessment (2011) initial assessment can also be useful in establishing preferred learning styles.
Learning styles are based on individual ability and desire to learn, the three main learning styles are visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. Many learners are multi model which simply means they have no preferential learning style, I am inclined to think through experience that learning styles can also be task motivated and could depend on previous experiences the learner has.
Diagnostic assessment is the process that helps me to discover and target which particular areas of learning need developing to achieve their learning goals. An example could be a learner has problems with maths but after diagnosis it’s discovered he has a weakness understanding fractions, which would then highlight what needs to be concentrated on to achieve the final goal.
Initial and diagnostic assessment could be compared to a mechanic looking at car that has broken down, his initial assessment shows there is something wrong with the engine but after a diagnosis he discovers the engine has no oil and so the repair can be made.
Examples of Initial and Diagnostic assessment.
Initial Diagnostic Interview & Discussion VARK Learning Preference Application form / Checklist Test online Multiple choice Observation Activity Initial test Assignment
One of the main reason we undertake initial and diagnostic assessment is to plan our teaching methods that will inevitably help us to meet the needs of our learners.
The best teachers constantly monitor what is happening to students as they set about learning and investigate when things do not proceed as planned or expected. They also enquire their own practice so they might get better at ensuring that their students learn successfully. Demos 2004. About learning, Report of the Learning Working Group, Demos, London
In my role in teaching Functional Skills to Approved Driving Instructors I have reflected upon the fact that the initial assessment I have is usually a telephone conversation, I have come to the…