Sunday, 21 March 2010

Functional Skills, Portfolios and teaching to exams

The word ROLA (Record of Learning Achievement) sends shudders down my spine but if this concept were transferred to a digital format it could become a very powerful tool. A student's progression could be measured by both traditional and digital assessments including VLE's and task based learning using the internet.

The main problem seems to be fitting the administration of ROLA's into your day to day teaching - Can this only be achieved by careful and appropriate assessment design and linking back to assessment criteria? Can students have ownership of their ROLAs? Are there ways we can change them to make them more user-friendly / more intuitive / informative? Is there an easier way to link an ILP and a ROLA together?

Would making achievement more explicit for the student, help them to focus on their learning journey and goals? This would have to be done whilst ensuring that differentiation is included in the setting of goals (ILP).

Perhaps functional skills will offer a scaffolding which can be used to develop new approaches to teaching ESOL and create both vocational and academic pathways for further progression into employment or study.

Either way current summative assessments seem to be far less accurate in terms of measuring a students growth and lead tutors into teaching techniques for interpreting questions and how to pass exams. There has to be more to teaching language than this...

What are your experiences of working with ILP's and ROLA's and do you know any examples of good practice?

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