I know I haven't written much here for a while. That's not to say I haven't been reflecting, just haven't had time to update the blog.

So Unit 2 is finished and wow that was a learning curve and a half. Always good when doing an assignment creates learning. Next essay is about assessment and evaluation. Well I guess our essays are part of our own assessment process. I am a great believer that assessments should be part of the learning. A way to focus the mind, check what you know, and I guess compare yourself with others should it be that kind of assessment.

Today I taught a group of students from Shuttleworth College a full day training course called Foundation Safety and Rescue Training. Being a training course there is no assessment at the end of the day, just a decision from me whether they are recommended or not recommended, which is really based on their participation. However I do need to assess their needs before I start the course, so I know how to tailor the course to "optimise" their learning. It was obvious from the start that sitting in a classroom for more than 5 minutes would be 5 minutes too long!  My judgement! However I did present then with a profiling exercise to mark on a score of 0 to 6 their knowledge about various parts of the course to come. This created a baseline. The plan was to use the same profile at the end of the day to demonstrate to the students that they have learnt something (hopefully) and also another way to demonstrate success of the teaching styles used perhaps. It would be no good just assessing at the end without a baseline, because I would have no idea of their prior knowledge and so would not know if I had made a difference.

I use the following scale which I learned on the UKCC Level 3 training for canoe coach that I had some time ago. I like the scale and the words as it is clear I think what is meant. The scale is a reflection of stages of learning: Cognitive; Associative; Autonomous which can also relate to unconscious incompetence; conscious incompetence; conscious competence; unconscious competence. Perhaps I will look at some psychology text books as this all relates to the brain.

The scale:
0 = I know nothing
1 = I think I understand it
2 = Aha I get it! but it doesn't always work
3 = It seems to work OK. Is it OK?
4 = It works as long as I think about it!
5 = I don't really have to think about it!
6 = I can do this well and never doubt it - it's just part of what I do!

I am sure we can think of things we do that can fit into this scale.

Do you have a profiling exercise you do with students to rate their knowledge or abilities? I would love to hear from you if you are happy to share.

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