Adapting Assessments To Meet Individual Learner Needs
Assessments have changed and adapted over the years to ensure that they meet the needs of all learners. Assessments should cater for all learning styles and shouldn't in any way discourage or inhibit the learning process. Here we look at five key areas that can be utilized by teachers to achieve this.
Certain learners will naturally take longer to grasp a question and come up with a written / verbal answer. This can be complicated further when medical conditions such as Dyslexia and Dyspraxia are taken into consideration, whereby learners are entitled to 25% more time in an examination.
Outside of exams learners can be helped by allowing them more time to complete coursework and homework.
Learners suffering with a physical disability can use a scribe to help them get their thoughts onto paper. This in no way gives an unfair advantage, and can be done outside of an exam hall so that it does not distract the other candidates.
The same principle can help students who may of suffered a sports injury a fracture during the school year.
Written Vs Verbal
Traditionally Multi Choice Papers have been used to assess learners on courses. However developing research has shown that this type of assessment potentially excludes learners who prefer to answer a question verbally.
In light of this many awarding / exam bodies give learners the opportunity to answer questions verbally. Once again this can be done outside of the exam hall, gives no unfair advantage and does not discriminate against those who may have writing / reading difficulties.
Exams Vs Coursework
Some types of learners may struggle in examinations and it may not reflect on the hard work they have put in throughout the course of the year. Many courses now offer predominately coursework based assessments that give these types of learners the best chance of prospering.
In certain situations learners may struggle in the atmosphere of an examination and could even suffer with mental / physical side effects. Candidates need to be helped in these situations to give them the best chance of passing. The most common solution is to allow them to sit the exam, under the same conditions but in a smaller classroom. Hopefully away from the stresses and anxiety that triggers the phobia in the first place.