"Figure1. The Learning Pyramid. The learning pyramid originates from the National Training Laboratories (NTL) for Applied Behavioral Science, 300 N. Lee Street, Suite 300, Alexander, VA 22314, USA. The percentages represent the average "retention rate" of information following teaching or activities by the method indicated. In fact this diagram was originally developed and used by NTL in the early 1960s at NTL's Bethel, Maine, campus, but the organisation no longer has or can find the original research that supports the numbers given. In 1954 a similar pyramid with slightly different numbers had appeared in a book, Audio-Visual Methods in Teaching, published by the Edgar Dale Dryden Press, New York. Bligh (1998) gives some evidence for the effectiveness of different teaching methods."

Ref: E. J. Wood (2004) Problem-Based Learning: Exploiting Knowledge of how People Learn to Promote Effective Learning, Bioscience Education E-journal, 3-5 available at http://www.bioscience.heacademy.ac.uk/journal/vol3/beej-3-5.aspx

mmmm ... difficult to know what to make of this diagram and percentages and the fact we were given the information in class, but it would seem that the data no longer exists or is available to analyse! I did ask in class and didn't get a reply as to who and when!  Seems to me that there is a research project in the making for someone who would like to take it on (NOT ME!)  My questions would be how long afterwards were students tested for their knowledge (after all long term & short term memory theory comes to mind!!), what type of students and what kind of information. It would seem that many experiments have been done to test the theory by comparing 2 teaching methods side by side. I wonder if actually by being creative and changing delivery (varied practice & random practice) actually make things more interesting & relevant and so you preserve & don't get switched off or bored! I one Level 2 course we delivered we set students a task of catching coins from the back of their hands ... several different practice sessions were created ... bilateral, varied, random (with unrelated things to do - tiddliwinks), one hand only repeatedly & varying the numbers of coins etc. Now one has to assume that all people are equally talented in their abilities (a falsehood already), but the random practice and varied practice produced good results more quickly ... the test was to catch 10 coins dominant handed!  So one conclusion is that if we mix it up a bit ... not too long in one mode of teaching (whatever that might be) maybe that actually creates the retention we desire!

One of the things I love about the Level 1 courses we deliver is the fact that we have multi-outcome sessions - a main outcome, but also touching on or introducing concepts which we come back to later. So in our delivery of a capsize drill we introduced show tell do (or VAK) as the way we take on information. Tomorrow we will expand on this by teaching them a teaching model IDEAS (Intro, Demo, Explanation, Activity & Summary) which covers all three inputs in VAK so you catch all learning styles! It isn't of course as simple as that, but these are beginner coaches! They will get immediate success in coaching! But the concept will not be new as we have indeed already covered it and can therefore relate it to known experience!

We also introduce different coaching styles ... Directive (safety brief), self check, peer to peer, guided discovery and discovery. In our own delivery they will also have experienced this without even knowing until we point it out when they are ready!

So my conclusion here is that with limited time as a teacher, meeting different leaner's needs, individual plans etc, we also need to be creative about our joined up course sessions and help learners by giving them experience we can then drawn on later! All techniques of teaching are valid and I believe that variation is key as if we lose motivation for our learners to learn we are stuffed!

(Yes I know I need some theory here too & references ... just getting

So I had a plan today about trying out an active teaching style to make an otherwise dry subject more interesting. In the last course we had a set of students that didn't engage very well and were quite frankly a pain! Day 1 of this course is always hard work because we are covering risk assessments and safety briefs. In the past I have watched this been delivered as a lecture, with some practice in that all students go out a do a site specific risk assessment. Then we do safety briefs telling students about the various elements and then showing them one. This doesn't always go down well, as often students have covered the subject before in other courses or they perceive it as obvious! So today I thought I would design a lesson that meant the students took ownership of the risk assessment and safety brief ... ie with some carefully structured active sessions they create the safety brief themselves.

So introductions to the course took 30 minutes or so, then some slides putting a few concepts in front of the class that they need for coaching, ie SEL (safety, Enjoyment & Learning - relates to Maslow I think) & Plan Do Review (ie the teaching cycle simplified). Now Risk Assessments ... A quick intro with a clarification that most (but not all) have done them before! An acknowledge that they are important, but sometimes tedious, with an explanation that they as Level 1 coaches would be responsible so they have to do it to avoid being sued for negligence! That's what I call motivation! We discussed (question & answers) how to do a risk assessment (they have a generic one in front of them) and then discuss generic, dynamic & specific (to the site) ... What areas are important? Having established that I slit the 8 strong group into 3 and each tackles a particular area of the site and produces a specific risk assessment (15 minutes). The group comes back together, writes it up & I check that they understand going around individually!. Now comes the clever part - I wanted to get each group to tell another group what they had found so that by the end everyone had a risk assessment for the whole site. However I had 3 groups, so I adapted my "speed dating" part so that individuals pick another individual from another group and exchange info that way! The feedback and activity from the group was great. No-one was silent and all were involved! The outcome of writing a risk assessment was achieved & I believe learning took place! Now onto the safety brief! I wanted them to develop it, but knew without seeing one they may not get it. But just mimicking someone else is not understanding WHY we do a safety brief & when! So using their risk assessments and the generic ones already laid out I got the groups to discuss what should be in a safety brief imagining they are the coaches! Afterwards I went round the room and asked for an ordered set of things you could say in a safety brief & wrote it on the board (a computer would have been good at this point). They had got 90% of the brief although not necessarily the correct/logical order. So now for some input from the tutors ... outside to consider manual handling and the tools to be able to deliver that, how to fit buoyancy aids and look at clothing, how to do an emergency capsize drill. All done back to the classroom and we discuss how the safety brief should be revised ... brilliant and now 100% right & they did it (with guidance). I deliver a demo (I asked if they wanted one!!) and then I tell them that it would be really cool if they practice one to one (it is lunch time now, but perhaps they could do it over lunch!). No sooner had I left than they were practising and giving each other feedback based on the crib card they had made! The testing of this learning will be the day after tomorrow when they have to do a safety brief for real in their assessed session, but I am very positive that they will be great!

Now I know that when you just tell them, demo one and then get them to copy it among themselves that works (always has in the past), but I feel that this time they have also taken responsibility & have an understanding that their safety brief is important because of that, not because they have to do it. These are 17 & 18 year olds who could be taking my child paddling!!

I have always though active teaching was good, but hadn't appreciated that it means more than just discussion & that it can definitely be applied to even the driest of subjects.

I know I need some theory and references behind this & will for my essay.

So all this stuff that I do anyway has theory and stuff behind it all! And all these strategies that I use already have names and definitions! I am not sure why I am surprised! In some ways I am glad it is obvious. I am however surprised by the percentages to learning depending upon the type of teaching. I had not realised that as much as 90% remembered was even possible, but if you teach it you remember it better! I wonder if this deteriorates with time - i.e. is it in the long term memory files? I also wonder if age has a relevance to percentage learnt? Perhaps I can test this theory by revisiting some of the maths I learnt as a grammar school student and at University ... I may have to reread some stuff but I bet I can recall it and the understanding of the maths. So perhaps we are talking long memory files after all. I always loved our A level maths sessions because they were practical and based around things we would understand, like the forces involved in making a bicycle go (mechanics A level lesson).
We looked at effective and ineffective methods from our own experience:

effective application

Practical application in particular to things I understood like riding a bike
Enthusiastic Teachers
Teachers that answered my questions
Creative teaching
Positive, constructive feedback
Proper explanation
Real scenarios/relevance
Being given sufficient time to explore a subject and not too much if it was boring!

ineffective application

Repetition i.e. learning by rote, for example times tables; German language
Asking me to do something I felt I couldn't do and not being given something more appropriate or achievable
Role Play - I hate doing something which isn't real, e.g first aid scenarios, but this could be more to do with not knowing it is coming - so perhaps this is expectation. This is an assessment where we were leading people down a river (in flood conditions, so there was enough going on already) and then I was given a first aid scenario out of the blue, which was neither likely or realistic and when I argued that point they changed it! But I had specifically asked whether we would have scenarios and they said we would just deal with what we come across!
Being told an experiment results are wrong, when as I pointed out it was an experiment not a demonstration!!

active teaching = student centred approach

Geoff Petty's website talks about

"Good students may create meaning from passive methods, but weak students do not. Both types of student improve their learning enormously when they are required to use it.".
(Petty, G. (2004) Active Learning [online]. Available from http://www.geoffpetty.com/activelearning.html [23 Oct 2012].)

I think that by using more active student centred approaches you engage with all the students and can more easily identify individual needs as it gives the teacher time to observe. Observation for an active sport like canoeing seems quite obvious after all you are looking for a technically perfected stroke to help develop a skilful application in different environments. I think that this applies to all subject matters though. By watching how a student tackles a problem whether individually or in a team tells you a lot about how they learn, their thought processes, interaction with others and so on. In canoe coaching we have developed models of observation to help new coaches develop their observation skills. Do these exist for teachers of mathematics say?

Student centred approaches also allow students to work at their own pace, and this can have a downside as some will get it quicker than others and there is limited classroom time as well.This means better planning from the teacher is required to effectively use these active methods ... using the right ones which are most appropriate for the activity and time it well, It is always useful to have a number of things ready just in case one doesn't achieve the right outcome. I wonder whether this is why teachers resort to lectures when faced with limited time and knowing they MUST cover the material. A more teacher centred approach. In my recent experience we presented the safety material in a mixture of lecture, demonstration and activity. But the lecture part went on a long time as there is so much to cover. My colleague tried using questioning to engage the students when looking at safety kit, but clearly the students had never thought about why a buoyancy aid has CE markings inside, or why they should be properly fitted. So questioning students experience can fall foul of their ignorance! So what would be a better approach in this case?

We talk about a directive style of coaching and often say that this is used where safety in paramount. For example on a first decent of a rapid you might tell the student how to get down safely by saying, "Keep paddling and take the wave train on the left". By following your command as it were the student is given a positive experience. Afterwards one can look at the rapid in more detail and perhaps discuss other option from the safety of the river bank. In a sense this is making sure that the confidence and safety are satisfied before you can explore a more active approach to learning why that line was best or safest and trying to give understanding to decision making.

So although I think the ACTIVE student centred teaching approach is valuable in creating understanding by discovery or guided discovery if you like, there are times when just giving the answer by a directive approach can stop frustration, improve confidence and a chance to move on to more meaty stuff.

Also this also depends upon the needs of the learner. There are some skilful students who would gladly show off what they know but others equally skilful who would rather not, which may be a sign of low self esteem, which then links in with physcolo
The day when we see if the students have learnt anything during their first assessed coaching session. On top of that we had an internal verifier from the BCU in to assess our delivery. He was there to assess the Course Director who had developed the course, managed me as a tutor, delivering the sessions and so on. Today was split into 4 sections:

1. Review of the day before in the style of "What's the story in Balamory?"
2. Coaching assessment of each student. They were split into 2 groups one to be assessed by me and one assessed by the course director. We have a set of criteria to tick and a box to fill with comments so we can evidence what we see in relation to the criteria
3. A safety assessment where students must perform a series of rescues.
4. The day finished with a lecture about Long Term Paddler Development which I delivered as a more interactive session as it was clear at the end of the day talking at them was not going to work!

The young people did themselves proud in my group and nailed good IDEAS (Introduction, Demonstration, Explanation, Activity & Summary) sessions and some of them even tried using some of the coaching techniques like directive, self check, recipricol and guided discovery, which was good to see. All of them included feedback in their sessions: fluffy and constructive and most tried to make that individual feedback.

We have criteria to meet like any assessment and I know it is important to evidence rather than just tick box, so I made sure I made appropriate notes and added questions asked. This is quite hard when sitting outside next to a river!

Feedback from the quality assurance chap was positive and constructive. He liked my notes and questions and asked me where else I could evidence criteria. From the students plan and review sheets - these check that they have listened to their feedback from the session and are beginning to understand the need to write this down. It would be interesting to visit these students down the line and see if they still use plans and reviews for their sessions.

The hardest thing today, was that the students wanted to stay active, so there is no time between sessions to write everything up onto the forms, as you are watching the next session.

I supervised the safety assessment too & despite organising the order with some thought it still felt chaotic. Trying to be clear with instructions when the students just want to get going is hard. Perhaps a written list of the requirements is needed, or videoing so we can watch later? I would much rather set up scenarios for each student and treat like a coaching session where we had feedback on decisions made and so on. Perhaps I will try and develop something like that and run it past Leo.

What a great day. So much improvement of the students general attitude. It was sunnier today and we spent far more time active, which definitely suits the students better than listening to a lecture. Today was all about giving them a coaching model/framework and within that some different coaching styles, all to link with their learners learning styles. It was interesting when asked how the students classed themselves as mostly doers & therefore kinaesthetic learners. However they do listen, watch as well as practice and there aren't many that I would say are truly kinaesthetic - i.e needs putting into position. So I wonder whether it is kinaesthesia we are measuring with these tests that we do or actually just "active" people who need to practice the skill. To understand the skill in the first place they can take in the information audibly and visually, but perhaps true understanding of the physical comes with being active. We all get better understanding if we actually use the information .. thus making what we teach relevant to our learners is paramount, so they have context to practice.

Check some theory here ... (see later comments on learning schools from Petty (2009:4)

Ultimately we need effective communication skills as teachers which involve all aspects of our senses . touch/feel, see, hear. taste, smell. Perhaps teaching cookery involves more smell that other things we could teach. I certainly use it to tell whether the pizza is cooked! Again taste would be relevant for cookery, but not canoeing! I think that feel, see, hear are common for most of us in communication so this is why they are relevant for learning & I think we all use all these aspects, unless we have lost that sense. I always maintain that I don't listen and so don't take in information that way. I certainly struggle to remember everything spoken to me if asked to repeat, but some information goes in and can be processed into words on the paper, so perhaps it is just the processing power and memory capacity that is at issue ... Or repetition, ie processing what I hear to paper through my brain and body. I hear quicker than I read so can process the information to paper at a reasonable rate.

(Re reading this after reading Petty (2009) I realise that remembering words is not necessarily relevant and that concepts related to what we know already is - Cognitive School of thinking, so maybe for me I have to hear the words and form them into pictures and concepts that are relevant to me rather than words, hence my inability to remember acronyms very well, but I like concepts)

This suggests that this is more about memory - long term verses short term. Learning is being able to repeat the information/skill/technique sometime after the course, without referral to a manual? So by writing down I am able to remember for long enough to then practice in some other way, for example teaching the information to someone else or using the skill when I really need it, eg breaking out of a rapid safely.  - again Petty (2009:2) talks about STM & LTM and repetition for recall.

I am working on a 4 day Level 1 Paddlesport coach award course in Norwich this week. I am the tutor working alongside a Course Director who has control over the course plan and overall delivery. I have delivered several of these courses with this person in the past to a variety of people. The course has a maximum of 12 people and this one has 11.  I know the course pretty well now although have yet to deliver every aspect of it. Today whilst listening to the Course Directors introductions and layout of the course, outcomes and assessments I was able to observe with the PGCE in mind. So thinking about laying out ground rules, agreeing an assessment plan, getting to know the students and making a formative assessment of their needs, considering their motivations for being here and whether their needs have been met to enable learning  to happen.

1, Ground rules: Our course director laid out the ground rules by example rather than actual statement. When a couple of the young people were talking over him, he made it clear that it wasn't acceptable and the consequences would be leaving the course. I wondered whether a clear statement that When one person is speaking everyone else should listen should be written out and stuck to the wall. Since all bar one of the students are from a local college and know each other and the course director I was surprised at how little respect they seemed to display, led in particular by one individual. Rearranging seating helped and moving on quickly to a new task which involved movement. It is always hard in the first day, because we need to cover quite a lot of material, but also get to know the students.

2. We have a sheet of agreed assessment tasks and how these will be achieved in the course. Students and Tutors sign this document. This was done with in theory plenty of time for the students to read them, but wonder whether they did. However verbally & during the presentation the assessments were given as well. I know we will get questions throughout the course about the assessments and that it all becomes clear in the end. Some students just don't get it until they are doing it!!

3. Making formative assessments of the students needs is always interesting. I know that I have formed opinions about individuals learning styles and also their keenness and motivation. I am not sure I can write this down though or even remember all their names. How do I do this? At the end of the day we used a spider diagram to get students to assess their knowledge on the topics covered today. I often think this reflects confidence as much as knowledge, because you can think you know enough with confidence and not do (you only know what you know ... you don't know what you don't!). When I have used similar things on 1 to 1 sessions I have also made the same assessment and found where the student differs from the coaches assessment that is where discussion lies and can be useful!

In addition we tutors have a "contract" with the students to provide a service (the course in question) and when you know that someone is not motivated or thinks they know everything and declares they are bored, how do you then engage them. We have a quality assessor coming on Thursday (an assessment day 3) and it would be easy for this student to say he is bored even though we have tried to engage him and encourage thinking when you identify a need. However so far he has rejected this offers of support stating that we are "having a go". It suggests some underlying issues about learning per sa and other issues, which we have had to refer to his college tutors and they have even talked with his parent! Time will tell of we can engage him.

4. Motivation ... most of students seem to be enjoying the learning the more active they are. There is a lot to do and this course front loads a lot of theory before they get to "have a go". I think seeing them tomorrow will be interesting because they get an evening to think about it (or not) and sometimes that helps the brain to establish concepts and links that they may not have made before. Perhaps even some reflection!
As stated in the previous post professional requirement is the next thing to think about ...

Reece & Walk (2006:preface) link their chapters to the LLUK (Lifelong Learning UK) Professional Standards. Having just googled that I find the LLUK is out of date as of 2011 and that LSIS ((ref: http://www.excellencegateway.org.uk/node/61) - probably not the right way to reference but I can sort that for my essay!!

    "LSIS is the Standards Setting Organisation for the lifelong learning sector, responsible for developing, maintaining and updating fourteen suites of National Occupational Standards (NOS) which were inherited upon the closure of LLUK"

Clearly there is some development going on right now too. How confusing!

Anyway in my judgement there are always professional standards to maintain in any job or profession and round the world we humans are quite good at coming up with long documents to quantify those!

Found it ...
A guide to using the new overarching Professional Standards  

For Teachers, Tutors and Trainers in the Further Education Sector in England

MARCH 2011

by the LLUK ... so clearly this is indeed the latest one (see link above)

Keeping Learners Safe
There are health and safety legislation for all things that we humans do. In coaching outdoor activities there is something called Adventure Activity Licencing Authority (AALA) which now comes under the guidelines of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). There is much talk about abolishing AALA, but professionals in the field of outdoor activities are fully aware that it is so important to learn from mistakes that have happened in the field and make changes to risk assessments as necessary. I think anyone in the field of teaching outdoor activities such as climbing, canoeing, skiing, mountain biking etc get very used to the importance of making risk assessment judgements dynamically, as well as relying on the more generic and site specific risk assessments. In this industry the environment and the nature of the activities is constantly changing. This is something I know quite a lot about having had to perform these assessments when running an outdoor centre. The ability to make risk assessments is important and also to accept that there are benefits to taking risks, but people need to know what the risks are so they can take responsibility (and not sue us). On the HSE website (http://www.hse.gov.uk/services/education/index.htm) it states that "a sensible approach to risk management is essential."

In coaching I issue a Safety Brief at the start of any session and then add to this if the environment changes or something new comes up. All learners are made aware of generic safety issues and sign things to say they understand the risks. The benefits to learners in taking calculated risks can out weigh the possible outcome. As teachers we need to control what we can without preventing the learning and it may well be learner specific. We need to be inclusive and that might mean being creative with our activities to include disabled learners or dyslexic learners ad so on. The Open University has written a clear and concise piece on just this subject which can be found here
We have been set a homework task ... in pairs or threes ... to present a 15-20 minute teaching session on a topic. I am working with Marcus and our topic is
The Role of the Teacher
Professional Requirement
Different understanding of the role
Keeping Learners Safe

First thing I have learnt is that there are loads of letters that stand for stuff and people use these everywhere ... this frustrates me because I have enough trouble remembering words never mind non-words that mean something!! We always assume don't we that if someone is interested in a particular topic they will understand the technical words and abbreviations!
So the Role of a Teacher ... make sure that your learners understand what you are saying! I now know that LLUK means Lifelong Learning in the United Kingdom - obviously (not!) ... it has taken me 10 minutes to find that in Reece & Walker (2006) as it is used even in the contents and firstly referenced in the Preface .. it is all very well using our books and papers by dipping in and out, but these retched technical words and abbreviations ...

Enough moaning ...
If I asked you what are the roles of a teacher I think we would get a huge list covering so many things. I think we can simplify this with being a facilitator. However this is a big word so we need to understand the meaning in the context of teaching:

Facilitator of learning - Reece & Walker (2006:3) talk about how teachers used to be "...the font of all knowledge..." but now we are a "...facilitator: a person who assists students to learn for themselves."  I think this is especially true in coaching students to paddle in that I can create scenarios for a particular paddling technique (say) and then by making some remarks or devising a practice routine I can facilitate the improvement of the paddler. I always hope that the paddler will take these away and progress with learning themselves by practice. However it is important that teachers have knowledge, especially with adults who ask endless questions. It is important to know what you are trying to achieve, i.e. outcomes.So the facilitator needs to do it in a planned way, with appropriate tools to enable learning to achieve outcomes, which can be measured in some way, to demonstrate learning. Hence we get many models of teaching. Also because people are individuals we also need to facilitate learning to everyone on an individual level and time (and space the final frontier ... sorry got carried away there!)

Bill Taylor in Chapter 1 of the British Canoe Union's (BCU) Coaching Handbook (2006:8) talks about "Coaching, like teaching, has a body of specialised knowledge borrowed from many of the sport sciences ... as well as formal education, youth work, management training and other people-orientated activities and professions." So we can say that teachers are managers in that they need to take the knowledge they are trying to teach and create an environment whereby learners can learn, including being safe but interesting, creative but timed, knowledgeable but willing to discuss and question. We as teachers also need to be up to date and considering best practice in what we teach. How we teach will depend on our own experiences and personalities. This is reflected again in BCU (2006:12) where roles are discussed as

    "No matter whom you coach and for whatever reason, the act of coaching is a complex, dynamic and thought provoking process. It can provide moments of sheer joy one moment and a few seconds later of deep despair. Each coaching session and each coaching relationship is unique; individuals will vary in the way they respond to your input, and the environmental conditions, often so critcal in our sport, provide an ever-changing variable which

Bill Tayor in BCU (2006:8) also says that "Coaching is a complex, thinking activity", so teacher are also reflectors perhaps by the very nature of being a teacher ... discuss!!


OR in layman terms See, Hear, Do/Feel

If we include all these mediums in our lesson we should catch everyone! But it is more complicated than that of course. Reece & Walker (2007: 141) talk about learning styles and strategies and how each style lends itself to material being presented or communicated in particular ways. "Students are intrinsically different and have different preferred learning styles" is one underpinning concept talked about.  In coaching canoeing, by definition an active sport we would expect learners to learn by doing and doing is essential to check learning too! Part of the motivation for being a canoeist is to actually paddle surely! However I think we need to be able to learn in all ways and it very much depends on what we are ;learning. So some canoeist may well learn by watching Youtube videos of top slalom paddlers.

I want to teach mathematics. Learners will have to do that too, and by doing so will learn even if it is just by heart. So my point here is that it is how the teacher communicates that is the issue and that is where I think the VARK model comes in as well as the Honey and Mumford model talked about here with the picture below which I like.
In the above picture there is movement through the learning styles, which I have not seen before. In the coach education we talk about activists, reflectors, pragmatists and theorists noting that people may be one or more and this adjusting our communication/teaching styles to reflect learners needs. I have always thought that as learners, we change with our experiences of life and the roles we take on, so this idea that we move round the styles suits my thinking. In particular I managed an outdoor centre for 2.5 years. During that time I developed a pragmatic approach to problem solving, which previously I might have taken a more reflective theoretical approach to to achieve a more sustainable solution. However needs of an outdoor centre require immediate solutions, so a pragmatic, active approach is quicker and still solves the current issue.
The picture above simplifies that cyclic approach and could perhaps be aligned to Plan; Do; Review approach to teaching/coaching.

As a teacher I do need to be aware of these things but I am not sure whether telling the students is necessary, but perhaps an approach to improve their learning styles without them knowing may be more productive ....
So we discussed more about references to the point of overload ... it is just a matter of formatting! Also discussed (again) how to start the essay for Unit 1 and about not knowing how the essay would look yet, BUT it does need starting! So to start .... describe myself wrt teaching & learning (perhaps) ... consider the outcomes but write about your own practice in relation to the Unit title! I am not worried by this now ... but first I want to get some thoughts on paper based on Monday's session ....
I deliver this on our coach educator course at UKCC Level 1 and use the whole group to come up with ideas, which then break down into topics such as
ETHICAL responsibility
LEADER & Inspirational
KNOWLEDGE of the subject but understanding of limitations

** Thinking about monitoring learning sparked a question from me to Ian regarding what is FORMATIVE & SUMMATIVE assessment. I have heard the terms but struggle to remember exactly what they mean ... so

FORMATIVE assessment is assessing at the beginning and during the course, using QUESTIONING, QUIZZES, OBSERVATION etc and is ongoing: I do this all the time in coaching, especially when tying to decide what to coach next ... the question to myself is

"What one thing can I coach that will make the most improvement?"

There are tools such as thinking about Boat, Body, Blade, Brain & Background during observations and the Observation Funnel of holistic, deductive and analytical referred to by Loel Collins in the British Canoe Union (2006: 29) .

SUMMATIVE assessment is about assessing the learning at the end of a course, which could be a FORMAL EXAM. QUESTIONING, DEMONSTRATION (in teaching coaching we observe coaching sessions and evaluate against criteria).

One thing is for sure any kind of assessment must be based on levels of understanding. For example if I assess a paddler canoeing I will be assessing against a star award set out by the Governing Body for canoeing The British Canoe Union or a coaching award criteria which have been created with the UKCC, which is a body which oversee sports coaching across many disciplines.

I think this is right as whenever we assess somebody we will be basing that on our own experience and to make this uniform across teachers there needs to be a definitive set of criteria. However it is always difficult to know whether everyone has the right end of the stick and so we end up with QUALITY ASSESSMENT and I guess we could say the quality assessors need checking to and so on. Perhaps recognised paper exams are the right form of assessment as at least there is some commonality! Discussion for another day perhaps!