European Assessments part 2

English Notes
BSL Video

European Assessments part 2

There are several different forms of assessments.  They can be carried out at the end of a module as I mentioned earlier.  These types of assessments allow you to ascertain the student's readiness to move on to the next level.  Passing this module would ordinarily be a pre-requisite for moving on to the next module.  Alternatively there are assessments which can be carried out during the module in class.


For example, when moving on to a new topic you might decide to assess the students understanding of previous topics.  These formative assessments serve a different purpose to the summative assessments which come at the end of the course or module.


Of course as teachers yourselves you will know that you are responsible for ensuring that students are progressing whilst appropriately adapting your own teaching skills on an ongoing basis.

Each time you introduce a new subject you will ensure that students are keeping up with new information.  Towards the end of the course you will need to allocate time to revise to enable you to spend time with the students looking over what they have learnt.


Then the usual procedure is once the module or course has finished you would conduct an evaluation of the whole course. That is quite usual and standard procedure and we should maintain this because it is good and provides a way of ensuring that you are satisfied that the students have achieved what was expected during the course.  

The work given during lab sessions should compliment the theoretical learning during lectures and marry up with the learning outcomes and assessments.  Everything needs to come together at the end of the course and this should happen for each module within the course. Then at the end of the course you will put together an assessment which will assess the overall achievements.


There are other forms of assessments, I have mentioned just a few.  Usually, early on in a course you would do some assessment of sign language production skills and you may want to introduce writing or computer based assessment which could be in text or an e-test.  This will depend on how you want to assess your students.  Sometimes this will mean using the resources at the centre where you work or teach.  You may be expected to use VHS videos for example or record their assignments on to camera or a written assignment may be required.  Such assessments do still exist.  However some centres may assess using more modern techniques via computer.  Subsequently all productive and receptive work is submitted via computer.  So the type of assessment will depend on your centre's expectations.  

As a result, all assessments can be retained in one area.  So the way assessments are carried out may vary but what are standard are the principles of assessing students.  The assessments should not be influenced by the equipment or technology available at the centre but by the actual curriculum is taught and the learning outcomes.  However, how the assessments are done will vary.  So what this means is early on in the module you may recognize that you have very beginner level students who are starting a new at the beginning of the semester.  You may have to revisit the percentage allocated to reflect the base line class achievements or levels.  This should include both comprehension and productive skills.


I am aware that some teachers place a greater amount of importance on receptive and comprehension skills.  This is because with language learning it is better for the student's receptive skills to develop first and for the teacher to assess their receptive skills.  How those assessments are carried out, as I mentioned earlier, will depend on the equipment and resources available.  It may be that the proportion of the marks you give to receptive skills is initially higher and then reduces as the course progresses.  Eventually, both productive and receptive skills will have an equal proportion of the marks.


This is because you would not focus on production skills at the beginning of a course.  Usually the focus would be on receptive skills, this allowing as much as seventy per-cent for receptive and thirty per-cent for production.  It may be that your institution award sixty per-cent for receptive skills and forty per-cent in productive skills so you will need to follow what your centre does.  As I said earlier, this proportion will even out as the course progresses and your marking systems will be flexible enough for you to reduce so that eventually you can assess both receptive and productive skills equally.  

In the next section I will explain the possible assessment methods.

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