My aim was to ascertain whether the current method of oral initial assessment is accurate and reliable for all learners. I collected feedback from my group of learners. I did this using Harrying Adult Learning Service’s (HALLS) ‘End of Course Learner Feedback 2010-11’ form and such other feedback as I could obtain specifically on my assessment and impact. Making an initial assessment of learner’s needs Due to the fact that Harrying Adult Learning Service does not conduct formal paper based initial assessments at pre-entry or entry for Computerized Accounts Level 1 ours, I devised and created myself an initial assessment form.

The initial assessment form I created aimed to gather the relevant information from the potential learner about his/her computing knowledge, academic qualification, learning style, barriers to learning, disability, learning needs, objectives and relevant skills. Initial Assessment Form I designed and developed an IF (see Appendix A). The form was amended to meet the requirements of Computerized Accounts Level 1 using Sage Line 50 course (see Appendix B). This IF will prove an invaluable resource for me. In future, if I am offering a different course, e. Microsoft Word, Excel, Powering, I can use this form and change it accordingly. In addition to the initial assessment I have created, I talked to students to discover their knowledge of accounting terminology and/or if they attended any manual book keeping and accounting courses. Two levels, level 1 and level 2, manual book keeping and accounting courses are offered by HALLS. I based this assessment on informal techniques such as talking with the students individually or in small groups (Castling 1996, Pl 1), gauging their responses to a variety of teaching activities, and generally “getting to know’ them.

I also spent some time talking to other teachers already familiar with the students I would be teaching. This enabled me to gain a tutor’s perspective of the students and the levels of effort, attitudes and preferred learning styles (Race and Walker 2008, IPPP). Literature Review The publication of the Moser Report – ‘A Fresh Start – Improving Literacy and Innumeracy’, (Defer 1999), reported that 7 million adults in England, roughly one in five of the population, had low levels of literacy skills.

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The situation for innumeracy was worse, with estimates of the number of adults having some innumeracy difficulties naming from 30% – 50%. The report also found that 75% of people in prison had low literacy and innumeracy skills and in fact cannot read The Sun newspaper. One of the recommendations of the report was that there should be basic skills support in colleges and effective screening strategies implemented, to enable learners to progress on the pathway that will enable success.

The Letch Review of Skills (HEM Treasury 2006), published in December 2006, is an independent review of the Auk’s long-term skills needed to make us prosperous in a global economy and includes a series of recommendations to improve the UK skills ease to make the I-J a world leader by 2020. The Review proposes that, by 2020, 95% of adults should have innumeracy skills at Entry Level 3 – identified as the minimum skills level needed to be able to function effectively at work and within the world around them.

In response to the Review, the Government paper World Class Skills: Implementing the Letch Review of Skills in England sets out a series of reforms aimed at closing the skills gap, providing all adults with the opportunity to develop the skills they need to succeed and bringing about a change in culture and attitude by 2020. The Basic Skills Agency (BAS) recommended Initial Assessment tests, elicited an appropriate ‘level’ of Literacy or Innumeracy for each student to be placed into, for the purposes of teaching in line with the Adult Core Curriculum standards. Http:// rap. Coelenterate’s. Org. UK/readabilities/ LearningInfrastructureInitialAssessment] Methodology: Student Interviews & Informal Discussions (Qualitative Data) There were several informal discussions over a period of eight weeks with my Mentor, Course Lecturer and students, which significantly helped me with my research, being able to form a eider picture of the issues surrounding the accuracy of initial assessment.

Interestingly, Bell (2005, Pl 57) concurs with my reasoning to use this form of research, by asserting that ‘a skilful interviewer can follow up ideas, probe response and investigate motives and feelings, which the questionnaire can never do’. Finally, prior to handing out a questionnaire to my students I had a discussion with them about the reasons for conducting an initial assessment. This was done, so that when the students were given the IF they were able to complete it with full hones thus making it valid and reliable.

Pilot & Student Questionnaire (Quantitative Data) A pilot initial assessment was distributed to my Mentor and course lecturers at HAL prior to distributing my final initial assessment form to 12 students on Computerize Accounts Level 1 course. This was so that I could ascertain what curriculum areas utilized paper-based assessment, but furthermore, whether they thought initial assessment was a fair and consistent method of assessing all learners’ needs. Non of the recipients for initial assessment forms were ‘cherry picked’, as I wanted my research findings to be as valid and reliable as possible.

Cohen et al. 2000, IPPP) asserts that “Validity is an important key to effective research. If a piece of research invalid then it is worthless”. There was careful consideration in the way I compiled the initial assessment form, that there was no misinterpretation or confusion over what was being asked. Bell (2005, IPPP) stipulates that “if respondents are confused, irritated or even offended, they leave the item blank or even abandon the questionnaire”.

Subsequently, particular attention was made to the appearance and layout of different headings, so that they were easy to read and not discouraging for any respondent. Bell (2005, IPPP) proclaims that ‘recipients need to be encouraged to read and to answer the questions and they may be put off by a scruffy document the has been hastily prepared’. I agree unequivocally, as being a recipient myself in the research process on the DELLS programmer, I needed to be given a well-prepared a user-friendly questionnaire by my peers, so that I was motivated to complete it.

The initial assessment form that were piloted to my peers, colleagues and students are enclosed in Appendix A and B respectively. Ethical Considerations Wilson (2009, IPPP) identified that research needs to have informed consent. She says that those who are interviewed, observed or questioned need to have an agreement proposed and put into place regarding use of data and its analysis. Prior to distributing my questionnaires, I approached my Course Manager (CM) to seek h approval for conducting discussions and distributing initial assessment forms.

Bell (2005, IPPP) concurs that you should obtain clearance prior to distributing questionnaires from your supervisor, so that proposed plans and methods of collating data can be approved prior to distribution. Student Interviews Informal informal discussions aver a p ND students, which significant eviler picture at the Issues us Interestingly. (2005. Research, by asserting that ‘w and investigate motives and f Finally, prior to handing out a Them about ere reasons for ahem the students were giver thus making it valid and aerial A pilot . Alit assessment NAS prior to distributing my final I Accounts Level 1 course. This utilized paper-based assessor assortment was d fade and co to the recipients tort Initial ass research findings to be as oval asserts that ‘Validity is an miff There was careful considerate Tear There was no misinterpret (2005, p 140) stipulates that “if hey leave the item blank or e Subsequently. Particular tater different headings, so that TFH respondent. Bell (2005, p 144) read and to answer the quest has been hastily prepared’.

I k research process on The DULL user-friendly questionnaire b The initial assessment form t’ are enclosed In Appendix A al Wilson (2009, IPPP) identified says that those who are intent agreement proposed and put to distributing my questionnaire approval for conducting disc. (2005, p 148) concurs that you questionnaires from your sup collating data can be approve All of the students that were asked to complete an unit seed permission informally, were fully informed of the research and their confidentiality was maintained at all on all of the questionnaires.

They all agreed to take pa app) refers to the Data Protection Act 1998, in relation t privacy with respect to processing personal data. I didst form to students with age ranging from 22 to 55 years, of differing backgrounds, so that my results were Nubian Reliability and Validity The on course Oafs I devised were distributed to all VA no ‘cherry picking involved. This shows that there was the data. It was important to ensure that all students w assessment so as to meet everyone’s needs. The questionnaire that I devised could be asked to any outcome will vary depending on multiple factors such learners, their age, background (I. . Level of education) the IF was given out to a group of learners during a w and pm, they would likely have been sent by their org part-time employed or unemployed individuals, so thee group of learners attending an evening or weekend sees The initial assessment is devised to inform the tutor of therefore setting appropriate course aims and objective My initial assessment allowed me to do this with my el sharable outcome of an 81% pass rate. Results This section analyses the information gathered from the forms.

As previously stated, I conducted initial assumes Computerized Accounts level 1 using Sage Line 50 court which were then be followed by one-to-one interview/a feedback sessions. Twelve students completed their initial assessment for following information. For the purpose of anonymity I h SSL, SO ASS codes (Appendix D). All 12 students meet the prerequisite criteria of the co a keyboard and mouse and have some knowledge of b Using the information above and from the initial asses Each table has been generated to illustrate the results, which can then be used to inform the learning programmer.

Students Backgrounds The prerequisite criteria of the course was to be able to use a keyboard and mouse and have some knowledge of basic word processing, which all 12 students met. Four students claimed that they do not “Understand the Windows Desktop”, 1 out of 12 learners stated that they do not know how to “Start a programmer like Word”. Another learner stated that they cannot “Create a simple document”. Three learners feel that they cannot “Format a document”. As can be seen from Table 1, all learners have dated that they can save and retrieve their work as well as print a document.

Previous Experience SIS SSI ASS Turn on a computer Use a mouse accurately Find your way round a keyboard Understand the Windows desktop Start a programmer like Word (typing a letter) Create a simple document Save your work (e. G. To a designated folder on a drive) Retrieving your saved work Print a document Format a document Table 1: Students Background Students’ Needs From looking at the table 2, nine learners have stated that they are doing this course for Work/Employment, with 7 of these 9 learners also choosing to attend because hey “Like to learn new things”.

An additional two learners specifically Joined the course for work/employment reason. Reason for attending course For Work/Employment Like to learn new things To use at home Keep up with the children Gain more confidence in using a computer Other Table 2: Students Needs Barriers to Learning It is evident from looking at table 3 that two students have a particular barrier to their learning. These students have highlighted vision and hearing as being impaired. In my experience it is usually the case that at least one student per term is object to such barriers.

In the previous section I stated that, as well as gathering information from the initial assessment, I will also talk to the students to further discuss their needs. I feel that it is vital that such an opportunity is provided to students. Sometimes students prefer not to commit themselves to identifying a barrier by writing it down, and prefer to speak to the tutor. In this instance 3 students from the 12 spoke to me about issues that might act as barriers to their learning. All three stated that work commitments may stop them from coming to class. Students Barrier

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