Pat Campbell, author of Student Assessment in Adult Basic Education (2006), refers to assessment as a continuous, systematic process that utilizes tools and approaches to gather information in order to make decisions about the provision of programs, instruction, training and services for literacy, upgrading and adult basic education students.
“Adult basic educators who work in programs offered by colleges, school boards, workplaces and community-based agencies use a variety of assessments that are distinguished by the theories on which they are based; the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values they purport to measure and provide; and the manner in which they inform placement and instruction.”
The issue of assessment is one that is debated among practitioners, policy-makers and others in the field of workplace literacy. According to Campbell, there are two dominant themes: uniformity and diversity. Some call for a uniform set of national levels, standards and assessment tools, while others recognize the need for a set of tools that is culturally relevant, holistic and customized for populations with specific learning needs.
The document outlines the findings of a national survey on student assessment in adult basic education. It is one of several outcomes from a national project entitled Assessment Practices in Adult Basic Education that was sponsored by the Centre for Education and Work in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
To read the document, go to http://library.nald.ca/item/5995.
Pat Campbell is president of Grass Roots Press, a company that specializes in the publication of adult literacy resources, and a member of the NALD Board of Directors.