Eliot's principles of assessment in an authentic context
Completion of a 10 day leadership programme
This programme is split into four modules, three of which focus on leadership skills. Between modules the individuals meet up (in theory) with their ‘learning partners’ (another member of the group) to coach one another on practical applications of their learning. This is not mandatory, nor part of a formal assessment process. It often fails to occur because of time constraints and/or geographical issues (a learning partner may have to spend several days/weeks outside the UK). Those who do manage to have regular conversations with learning partners have acknowledged this as being a major contributory factor to their overall learning.
Ongoing coaching meetings with learning partners is an example of informal, formative assessment. The issues regarding cancelled meetings, could be ameliorated by implementing Web 2.0 tools such as Skype or communicating asynchronously through private messaging in Yammer, Linkedin, Facebook or a similar tool.
Authentic learning experiences – these communications focus on practical actions as a result of the learning in the previous module. The adoption of a structured approach in meetings, identifying the current stage of development experienced by their team vis a vis Tuckman’s theory and adopting strategies to move forward, managing a change implementation or something similar
Personalised - Individual’s are at various stages in their career paths and their learning objectives would reflect this
Negotiated - in the coaching session, learner's are questioned regarding the relevance and appropriateness of their desired actions
Engaging - all actions are identified by the learner and therefore reflect self interest and self motivation
Recognise existing skills - the individual's successes are reviewed by themselves and their learning partner, who can also give appropriate constructive feedback
Problem oriented - normally the action points are designed to facilitate a solution to a real life problem
Collaboratively produced - the outcomes are collaborative based upon agreements between the learning partners: a partnership or a trio
Peer and self assessed - Previous actions are reviewed and learning points from the strategy are considered. The skills of the coach are also scrutinised by the learning partners and coaches are given feed back to ensure ongoing improvement of coaching skills.