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Evaluation and Testing The importance of Monitoring,
The importance of Monitoring, Assessment, Recording, Reporting and Accountability is to enable us to understand what has been understood and the areas the student needs to develop. This can be in the form of written tasks or in individual or group discussions. Also this can be observational where there is no teacher interaction. Formative assessment informs future teaching and learning. A diagnostic test diagnoses the cause of problems, so the teacher would focus on that particular area of learning. Summative assessment marks the point when results are presented, and evaluative is evaluating and analysing the results.
Learning objectives for the areas of language are a way of monitoring the students ability to carry out a task and if they are confident in this objective, there maybe a need to reinforce it. Objectives need to be clear, focused and achievable. No two students are alike, most should attain their targets, but situations need to be provided for work within their capabilities and progress, Some objectives maybe open ended, for example- learning new words.
Assessment is more specific than monitoring, with the teacher planning for future learning experiences. This should enable them to connect their knowledge with their skills and understanding. When assessing, the focus is on what they know and the validity ' does it assess what it says. Confidence plays an important part in how a student reacts to situations, they may behave more positively when working in a familiar group situation, or respond better to a written test.
R. Headington (2000) 'When planning for assessment it is important to consider how questions will be asked and, if possible, to rehearse them with a colleague to determine whether they will elicit the responses anticipated. It is also important to consider when to ask questions, whether before, during or after an activity.'
Therefore a good relationship needs to be built within the group and with the teacher, who needs to understand individuals. Another area of concern is if the teacher only meets the students once a week, parts of what the students have learnt the previous week may have been forgotten; homework and repetition enable a student to reinforce what they have previously learnt.
Recording is essential to assist the teacher in remembering significant events and interactions. The analysis of these records enables the teacher to track the progress of individuals and groups to make formative decisions, such as moving to a new unit of work. Monitoring provides the teacher with an overview of what has been learnt, whereas assessment enables the teacher to gain a more detailed understanding of the individuals learning and needs. What the teacher records is determined by what is being assessed, for example ' is fluency being assessed or correct tense being used.
The students can evaluate their own learning by answering a series of questions designed for their level of learning. This can give the teacher a better understanding of what students concerns are, and how individuals can be helped to reach their full potential. Reporting to students regularly on their progress is important to ascertain their strengths and weaknesses, and they can be advised on their next steps in learning. If the teacher shares the learning objectives, the students will understand why they are doing the activities, what they are learning from them and how to develop their own learning. Reporting progress to students assists them in the learning process and identifies their strengths and weaknesses. Giving feedback to students when they have completed a task helps them to understand where here are problems and if they can improve on certain aspects of their learning, this is needed to be done immediately before an incorrect piece of information has become ingrained, it is harder to unlearn something incorrect.
The importance of evaluation and testing is to ensure that the students are learning and understanding the correct information. The teacher is accountable to other people and the students for providing them with a sound learning experience.
QCA The National Literacy Strategy 2002
Rita Headington Monitoring, Assessment, Recording, Reporting and Accountability 2000.