Posted: 2 December 2015
Author: Corrie Rhyasen Erdman, Community Learning Network
Found in: Learner Assessment
Assessment is a word that can instill fear in the best of us – learner and practitioner alike. The truth is, assessment is simply a way of finding out what a learner knows so we can choose the next steps for learning and to measure what they have learned.
Assessment starts from the first moment we meet a learner and talk to them about why they have come to our program. In those first conversations we have with learners we are learning about their learning goals, their supports and limitations, and about the skills and knowledge they bring to the learning. This is all part of a learner assessment.
These conversations are a key part of making assessment a learner-centred process for foundational learners. It ensures that learners are partners in the learning process and not directed solely by an instructor. It informs learners about what they know and what they need to know. It gives them language and tools to assess their own learning – an important life-long learning skill.
There are multiple points in the learning process that learner assessment is used.
It takes place:
-Alberta Reading Benchmarks
Assessments can be done in many ways – from observation, asking reflective questions to learners, informal assessment activities, formal written assessments, surveys, to name only a few. When we conduct assessments to identify learner skills and gaps it is important to keep the most important partner in the learning informed – the learner. Learner-centred instruction and assessment is critical for supporting foundational learners who have barriers to learning. To keep learners at the centre of the assessment process here are some simple strategies:
There are many tools and strategies for assessing learning and there is no one “right one” for every learner in our CALP programs. If you are looking for some learner-centred resources and ready-made tools to get you started here are a couple suggestions:
Assessment in Community Learning settings:
English Language Learning (ESL):
If you know of other great resources, leave a comment and share your favourites.
Corrie Rhyasen Erdman
Regional Support Staff