Identify Learners Needs and How I Will Assess Them

Introduction

This assignment will look at and identify learner??™s needs and how I will assess them.

The assignment will also look at a group of individuals, their background and barriers to their learning, needs, styles and how they develop learning.

The college

The Engineering department at Henley College has been functional for forty years, working with a wide range of students from different areas in and around the city. The engineering department offers a wide range of courses for both young and old, experienced and inexperienced students.

Student Services

Student services has many internal links as well as external links which the student can take advantage of. They can offer a wide range of advice support and information from educational aspects to personal information. They have the contacts to make referrals to specialist organisations where necessary for a student.
Once a student has enrolled on a course they can have access to the relevant department, speaking to the appropriate people and access to the course tutor to discuss any special arrangements that may need to be made.

There is also an additional Support Manager who can assist the student by:

Making any arrangements for specialist support i.e. for students with sensory impairment from the SASU (Student Access & Support Unit), who provide initial and diagnostic assessments, in class communication, one to one tutorials and other continuous support, which may be required.
Arrange for any materials, which may require changing, or adapting.
Negotiating with external exam boards to provide assistance with any special arrangements or considerations for any examinations i.e. additional time or consideration to assistance with understanding/reading.
By arranging for preliminary dyslexia testing by referring to an Educational Psychologist for a formal assessment for course and examination support.
Student First

Henley College??™s philosophy is to always place the ???student first??™. The college is committed to providing support to help the student succeed in his/her achievements.

This involves providing information on the various subjects and courses, offer advice and support on careers and higher education after the college education has completed, providing information on finance for the student, personal counselling services and guidance, provides information on accommodation.

The Students ??“ First stage of Enrolment

When a student enrols onto an engineering course, the programme manager will interview the student; prior to the interview the programme manager will have the benefit of a school report from their application. The school report will assist with the advice and information needed to ensure the student is enrolled on the correct course for their appropriate level of study.
During this initial interview the course tutor (who is present at the interview) will establish the support the student may require and an individual learning plan is developed.
Throughout the duration of the course there will also be regular reviews that will be undertaken, to ensure the student plans and learning requirements have not changed or may have developed.

These reviews are individual and are designed to be student specific taking into account the student support requirements needed.

The students are encouraged to participate fully to develop learning programmes. This is specific for each student and used to keep track of the student??™s additional needs or further studies.
Written and numerical support is offered, to meet the individual??™s requirements for their specific academic programmes.
Long-term consistent support is offered as well as short-term support.

This is dependent on the individual students specific requirements. The support is tailored to each students specific requirements and needs.
The college is flexible and adaptable to ensure it caters for as much of the required support that it possibly can provide, and will do as much as it possibly can do to endeavour it can provide as much of this personal support.

Assess learners

The group that I have chosen to describe in relation to the criteria for the assignment are the Performing Engineering Operations (PEO) level 2 2004-2005.

This group are in their first year of study within the college and if successful in completion of the course, they will then advance to the Btec National Certificate year 2, which is a one-year course, the next academic year. The ages within the group are of limited range with the majority of the students being between 17-20 years old.

There were 14 students at the beginning of the year, there are currently 10 students remaining on the course.

The entry requirements to be considered for a place on the Btec year 2 course, are 4 GCSE pass??™s at grade ???C??™ or above. Maths, English and a Science subject are mandatory; the students are required to have this for entry qualification for level 2.

By having a minimum entry requirement for the course, it will mean that similar level of academic ability students will be on the course as they have obtained a similar level of education.

The students on this course will have come from many different backgrounds and schools. This may have had an impact on their achievements in their GCSE??™s. By this I mean as they have attended different schools and each individual will have come from a different environment. Some students are able to achieve the academic success easily where some students may have to struggle with support and understanding. This will have an impact on the level of confidence of the student when attending the course. Some students may have a high level of confidence whereas others may have a low level of confidence having an impact on how they may settle on the course.

The problems that the students face academically can be identified before the student takes up place on a course, the basic skills test (explained further on). This can clearly benefit the student and help with the early transition and with the settling in period within the new working environment at the college as Reece and Walker state ???It is evident that a very important task for you is to make learning as easy and enjoyable as possible for your students???.

Support from the college and the lecturer can help in many different ways, by additional educational support where a student is finding it difficult to understand a subject or topic, or personal support and encouragement to help confidence to assist them on the course. This is explained in the initial assessment further on. Some of the students on the course are more confident in their academic ability whilst others require encouragement and some support during the lecture and guidance on individual assignments.

For those that require additional help, I??™ll will sit down with them individually and repeat or clarify any issues they have with the topic. This may be directly after a lecture or during breaks where I may have been approached for clarification. I will also ensure that I keep a close look at these individuals to keep them on track for the learning materials covered in a session. When they require additional help with assignments I??™ll offer support and guidance and encourage them. This has helped, as the students are not then holding up other students in their group by slowing down the lecture but can then have personal support and guidance where they feel weak in an area. Also the students are happier to discuss their difficulties in private rather than in the whole group where they may feel intimidated by their fellow students. Their confidence is then still high and they are happier knowing that they can ask without reservation for additional support or guidance.

Conclusion

I have every confidence that this type of support will allow the students to achieve their maximum potential and also to have a significant impact on the college??™s support programme. I am convinced that the effectiveness and appropriacy of this support enhances the learning experience for students at the college. I am impressed with the weekly tracking system designed that the student uses.
Bibliography

Books from college library

Teaching and training in post ??“ compulsory education second edition published in 2003 by ??“
Andy Armitage
Robin Bryant
Richard Dunnill
Mandy Renwick
Dennis Hayes
Alan Hudson
Janis Kent
Shirley Lawes

Teaching in further education ??“ fifth edition by L. B. Curzon published 1997

Teaching, training and learning 5th edition by Ian Reece and Stephen walker published in 2003

Internet

www.trainingfoundation.com searched website on 12/05/05

References

Ian Reece and Stephen Walker (2000) Teaching, Training and Learning.

Initial assessment

Initial assessment will help identify a learner??™s skills against a level or levels within a specified course. Learners may have different levels of reading, writing, numeracy and language skills.? Initial assessment is often used to help place learners in appropriate learning programmes.? This is done at Henley College online (see appendix 1) where students will carry out the test to see if any additional support is required to help him or her with their studies. The test involves answering a number of questions on both literacy and numeracy, which upon completion an overall score is given which will determine if any additional support is required in that particular area.

After the assessment

The results from the assessment test (a copy is attached) will determine how much support is required to that particular individual who scored lower than they should be expected to achieve entry for that level of course. If a number of students scored a lower result than expected then a support teacher will be added to the course to support the students who require additional help.
The support teacher will help and assist the less able students in the course and help with any literacy and numeracy skills they may struggle to perform.
The results of the assessment test will help guide me when preparing all the information required for a lesson. By this I mean the teaching and learning styles I will use in the lesson as well as how I present the handouts, and give clear explanations or go into more detail (if required) when explaining certain topics. Also depending on the amount of support the student requires can determine which type of resource to use to improve their area of development.

Self-assessment

Self-assessment is a process by which the students will learn more about themselves, what they like, what they dont like, and how they react to certain situations. Knowing this information can help the lecturer determine which occupations and work situations could be better for the students.
The self-assessment can help determine the approach that should be taken when teaching that particular group of students. On the self-assessment, if the student has ranked himself or herself poor or good against the course content, then the tutor will know how much support is required in that area.

Ice breaking

Ice breaking is a very useful technique to use in initial assessment. It??™s carried out by dividing the students into groups or pairs and allow them to find out information about each other i.e. name, where their from or work on a task and share their finding to the other students. This allows the teacher to find information about the students and also how their interact with one another and confidence. This also creates a friendly atmosphere within the group so they feel more relaxed from when they first arrived in class.

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