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The value of assessments in learning and development

Love them or loathe them – assessments are a crucial step in the learning process. Put simply, they determine if the course’s learning objectives have been met.

These days, teaching can take place in a wide range of situations both in the workplace or for a formal qualification – from traditional classroom training to distance learning and on the job training. But how do we know if learning has taken place after a delegate has been taught? This is where assessments are useful to help understand the levels of learning and skills obtained, and whether the learner is able to voluntarily divulge that information back.

A simple example would be to teach a child how to count to 10 by counting for them, then allowing them to count back – however to assess that the child has understood the teaching, you could ask them to count back for you one hour later to allow them to show you that they have retained the knowledge.

Assessments measure skills, competence, knowledge, understanding and attitudes to learning. At the assessment stage trainers are able to adapt their style and approach to allow them to get the information required for the formal assessment process for the learner to gain the qualification.

Some people find assessments daunting and fear any outcome. It’s worth remembering that assessments are not there to catch anybody out, but instead to measure knowledge and skills to enable the teacher to assist the delegate in further learning. Assessments should be fun and have moved on from the traditional written test or exam – quite often without the learner realising that they are being assessed.

Here at Alpha, we use a continued assessment process in all of our courses to ensure our delegates get the most out of their attendance. We appeal to different types of learners through the use of visual, written and practical teaching techniques that have been tried and tested. Our team of trainers are highly experienced and can adapt their teaching style to suit a wide range of abilities, skills and learning preferences.

You might also be interested to read our blog on 'How to retain what you've just learnt'.

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