The role and use of initial and diagnostic assessment in agreeing individual learning goals

“Diagnostic assessment informs both teacher and learner of current abilities and specific future needs.” (Machin, et al., 2016, p. 94) Before a course begins students often complete a diagnostic assessment, the results are often used to assess if the student is capable of completing the course, which group they should be in, if they need additional Maths and English lessons and if there are any additional support requirements. The record of these results may be required in the event of a dispute requiring justification of a student being on the course. In the event a student is deemed not capable of completing a course, it would be unprofessional and unfair to the student to offer them a place on the course as it would be a waste of their time. A lower level course maybe more suitable, at this point it is essential that the student’s learning goals are discussed to ensure the student understands why a particular course may be unsuitable at this time, however, it could be possible depending upon their performance within the lower level course. The “diagnostic assessment informs both us and our learners where they can best focus their attention and their energies.” (Gould & Roffey-Barentsen, 2014, p. 98)

Gould, J. & Roffey-Barentsen, J., 2014. Achieving your diploma in education and training. 1st ed. London: Sage Publications Ltd.

Machin, L., Hindmarch, D., Murray, S. & Richardson, T., 2016. A Complete Guide to the Level 5 Diploma in Education & Training. Second Edition ed. St Albans: Critical Publishing.

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