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CAREER ADVICE
Asked by Georgia

Compare the strenghts and limitations of a range of assessment methods with reference to the needs of individual learners?

I should also say that individual learners will each have a unique set of skills and situations. Some people are naturally more confident and outgoing, so take to presentations and oral communications more easily. Some people love reading and writing and so find essays and coursework more natural. Some people are majorly impacted by nerves and so part of a tutors job is to build confidence and resilience. Nobody finds them easy, but being able to focus through the stress and nerves is something that can be developed. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that thinking of people in terms of visual learners etc is focussed only on the initial learning. The application of that learning may be different for each person, but should be adaptable for all. Hope this helps. Ian

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Ian Bailey
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Hi Georgia Interesting question. Assessments can be stressful, but if approached in the right way can be super learning opportunities. I suppose the first one to talk about is an exam. Exams are stressful for everyone, but there are ways to move past this. Exams largely examine knowledge and memory. If you look at the exams in A level you will see some shorter questions needing one or two words, some longer and then some much longer. This allows for differentiation between students and their knowledge levels. There is some evidence that the longer answers show a greater breadth of knowledge and understanding. Essays are a much better way of showing your understanding. An essay is just a way of you discussing the background to a topic, applying the information to make sure that the question is being answered. So these usually assess knowledge, information and application. An essay is quite literally just a story about a specific topic. Both exams and essays involve writing. So a large part of what is being developed and assessed are written communication skills. Just like everything else in life, both of these need practice. I have a plan to help people with these skills. Other kinds of assessments include things like presentations, courseworks and practical skills. These are much more applied and skills based. Presentation skills are hugely important for all careers. Although this doesn’t make them easier to do, nerves are the hardest part. Presentations often assess both written and oral communication skills, and it’s important to show understanding and application in addressing the topic of the question. Coursework and practical classes are often linked. In a science subject the coursework often assess data handling, evaluation, critical thinking and application. In other subjects these still apply, as you will use information and data from a range of source material to provide a basis to address the topic of the coursework. I hope this has been helpful. If you find yourself struggling let me know. I’m happy to help find the positives in assessments. Ian

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Ian Bailey
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376 students helped

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