Within Art and design there are many different assessment types which can be implemented and provide sufficient information on the learners to be able to support them within the topic.
For the Adult learning course on Ceramics I as the tutor, has the option of performing a Diagnostic assessment before the course starts of the learner’s knowledge and skills through the use of a questionnaire. This can be emailed or for learners without excess to a computer, a letter.
A Diagnostic assessment for a practical subject is vital as there are a lot of equipment and Health and safety issues to consider. A tutor needs this information to have a full understanding of the level at which each learner is at that will be attending the class. Summative assessment, ‘on-going’ assessment through the use of coursework and feedback from the tutor is the next stage in ensuring that all the learners are receiving the right guidance for them and that they are full filling the entire learning outcomes for each session.
“This type of assessment activity can be very productive in terms of learning opportunities, efficient in terms of staff and student time, and can help support students in targeting personal objectives and learning outcomes as the weighting shifts progressively from formative towards summative
Walker. A Prof & Barfield. R, The Glasgow School of Art (2006).
To achieve this a tutor can use the learners sketchbooks to monitor the learners ‘working at’ level , encourage peer feedback with the use of post it notes next to the learners work for other students in the session to write positive feedback about their work and to have ‘on-going’ tutor feedback throughout the session. Encouraging the learners to ask questions and to have a ‘learner lead’ sessions are also other ways in which to promote ‘independent learning’. For the ceramics session the use of the ‘GCSE Art and Design Assessment Guidance’ sheet produced by Edxcel has been of great use and has given guidance as to terminology and marking learners work. It has given areas as to how to assess and mark Art work through four learning objectives develop, refine, record, present.
1.1 Use peer and self-assessment to promote learner involvement and personal responsibility in the assessment for and of their learning.
Learners studying Art and Design have the advantage of having a sketchbook in which they annotate their ideas and artwork; this can be used for self-assessment and evaluation and reflexion, as well as a good source of information for the teacher to assess. At the end of the course learners are asked to provide Artwork for an exhibition which will be to their peers enabling feedback at the end of their project. For on- going peer assessment learners are encourage to discuss their ceramic ideas and pots (encouraging ‘Active Learning’) with the group, prompted by the tutor through the use of directed questions.
“In the context of the college classroom, active learning involves
students in doing things and thinking about the things they are doing”
Bonwell. C, Ph.D. Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom. (1999)
1.2 Assess how questioning and feedback contributes to the assessment process.
Looking at the role of Assessing the learners skill at the being of a course and then at the end of it is vital, it shows that the course is planned correctly for the learners in mind and that the teacher is acting on the knowledge gained from feedback and questioning throughout the courses to aid learners learning. Have group discussions about the topics covered and what views the learners have on the subjects , is a good indicator of how much they have learnt and what they have not understood . In Art and Design introducing Artists to the class as a way of provoking discussion is a very good resource, the students learn about a professional artists who work on the same topic as they are covering in class and question what is and isn’t art, through these experiences the class start to gel as a group and start to answer each other questions and teach each other, learning from each other. At the being of each session feedback is given by the tutor, this is in the form of large sheets of paper with the learners name and any areas of development the student can look into, these sheets are given out each week according to the seating plan (which is changed every week, to ‘introduce’ learners to each other). The learners are also encouraged at the being and end of each session to look at others work and give positive feedback ask questions about the process. Examples of these can be seen in my schemes of work and session plans.
1.3 Use assessment types and methods to enable learners to produce assessment evidence that is valid, reliable, sufficient, and authentic and currant.
Within Art and Design ‘on going’ assessment work well, it enables the tutor to remain aware of all of the learners abilities and intervene if needed. The student’s sketchbook is another helpful resource to a teacher when it comes to assessing and marking learners work. From this a tutor can see the amount of research the learner has done, how they have develop their ideas through investigations informed by contextual sources and if they show any analytical and cultural understanding.
Art and Design with Edexcel look at four areas of assessing A01 Develop (how does a student research and to what extent), A02 Refine (how a student experiments and selects resources), A03 Record (how a student uses their sketchbook as a way of collecting information and use as evidence of this) and finally A04 Present (how a student shows a meaningful response). These are the levels used in my art and design course as well as the ceramic; it aids in how I develop as a tutor and how I mark/assess learners Art work. So in answer to the question I use the learner’s sketchbook which is a valid, authentic and most importantly current method to produce assessment evidence which aids assessment and grading of my learners.
Learning outcome 2: be able to conduct and record assessments in accordance with internal and external processes and requirements
2.1 Review the assessment requirements and related procedures of learning programmes.
Reviewing the Ceramics course, there areas for improvement. Using the Edxcel assessment criteria is not helpful for all students. For the elderly or entry level learners assessing their work at GCSE level is not always appropriate, this is where ‘on going’ teacher assessing comes in, were learners can be assessed individually and given guidance by the teacher and by other students. There are no requirements set for the courses I run they are both ‘mixed ability’ courses were all are welcome, but as a professional tutor it is right that as part of the course learners will have the opportunity to gain knowledge about the topic’s covered and about the Art world, this is what is assessed over the time frame and the learners research of the subjects involved.
2.2 Carry out and record assessment to meet internal and external processes and requirements.
Throughout the course time frame a tutor must keep an individual ‘tracking record’ to assist in keeping up to date with a learner’s knowledge, skill and development. For this I keep a file on each class showing photos of learners work and a written record of their develop and areas in which I can improve, as well as areas they need to work on and cover before moving on to the next topic. Examples of this are seen in a copy of my tracking folder attached with my learning journal and schemes of work. The external process I refer to is the Edexcel marking scheme which is also in the tracking folder.
2.3 Communicate assessment information to other professionals with an interest in learner achievement.
In the Art department I have the great opportunity to discuss professionalism within the work place on an everyday bases. From my observations with my mentor she has given me valid and useful feedback with guidance’s on areas of improvement, an example of this is my PowerPoint’s; instead of them remaining frozen on one page, once I have gone through my PowerPoint with the learners, to then have it running on a ‘slideshow’ format in the background, to instil and recap on the topic’s covered throughout the session.
Learning outcome 3: Understand expectations in relation to the minimum core in assessing learners in lifelong learning
3.1 Review ways in which minimum core elements can be demonstrated in assessing learners in lifelong learning
In my observations with my mentor, one of the areas for improvement was how to add elements of minimum core into the assessing process. My mentor advised using post it notes as a way of, not only introducing peer assessment but also minimum core. Learners five minutes before the end of each session are asked to stop and move places with the student next to them, they are then given a blank post it and are asked to write some positive feedback on the post it about the other learner artwork as well as a constructive area for improvement. I found that the learners in the Ceramics class enjoyed this type of assessment and felt more involved in the class and the learning process, it also has induced many discussions and debates, as well as aiding with the recapping and memory process of Artists linked to the topics covered in the course.
3.2 Apply minimum core elements in assessing learners in own specialist area
Other ways to implement minimum core into a ceramic class is to teach students about the use of glazes and oxides. There is a science and numeracy element to this topic learners are shown how the measure and dilute mixes of oxides, which covers fractions and the effects of different concentration of mixes on their pots .Learners are also shown and encourage to understand the health and safety covered in this topic.
Learning outcome 4: be able to evaluate own assessment practice
4.1 Review the effectiveness of own assessment practice, taking account of the views of learners.
At the end of each block of sessions I ask that the students fill in some feedback sheets giving me some ideas as to where I need to improve and what has worked well for this group of learners. This is one obvious problem with feedback sheet they can only be view as a general, one group of students are different to another, some of my students return for another course but the main part of the learners at the start of a course are new with a new set of needs, so the feedback sheet I use is just for general guidance for my delivery of the sessions.
4.2 Establish ways to improve own assessment practice
From my observations I have had very good feedback and shown ways in which I can improve my knowledge of assisting and given examples of assessment sheets used by the teachers in our department and have proven valid and very useful. From these assessment sheets I need to develop a set of assessment sheets just for the Adult learning course, I have a more individualistic way of assessing which more relevant to Art and Design topic’s, with more of a focus on a ‘Holistic’ approach to create a relaxing and creative learning environment.
“Compartmentalisation of this type has tended to be considered as detrimental to Art and Design programmes which have traditionally followed a more holistic approach – one which places more emphasis on the whole experience rather than the sum of its parts”.
Walker. A Prof & Barfield. R, The Glasgow School of Art (2006).
- Walker. A Prof & Barfield. R, The Glasgow School of Art (2006). Pg4
- Bonwell. C, Ph.D. Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom. (1999)
- Walker. A Prof & Barfield. R, The Glasgow School of Art (2006). Pg3