What’s the Difference between Teaching & Assessing?
If you have had a good browse through our website you will probably already be aware that we offer Assessor qualifications as well as tutor training courses. There is often some confusion between how teaching and assessing differs; so we want to bring you this blog to explain the two in further detail.
Let’s start with teaching. This is where you pass on the knowledge and skills you have learned over the years to your pupils. It is usually carried out within a classroom or college environment. Teaching can also be given as part of ‘on-the-job’ training to learners as well. In essence, if you are teaching you are responsible for ensuring that learning is taking place. Planning is a really important part of teaching; you need to take the time to make sure your teaching is in a format that is easy to understand. Let’s not forget it’s important that it motivates your learners as well.
There are lots of different types of learners, so as a teacher you may find yourself adapting your programme to suit the needs of your pupils. You may also be required to work and help advise learners, usually in a less formal setting. In general, teachers need to have a thorough understanding of the topic they are delivering. Obviously it is vital that they can pass this knowledge onto the learners.
Communication skills are important, but not just in the form of verbal communication. Sometimes you may need to show learners something or give an example of how a problem should be solved. Always be prepared to explain topics in more than one way. This is where lesson planning really helps!
Assessing in any form is more of a ‘seal of approval’. This confirms that the candidate has met the required standards in order to pass their qualification. Previously, assessments were solely carried out in the form of exams. However, this is not the case nowadays, particularly for apprentices who are learning on the job. There are lots of different methods of assessment which can be used to determine how a learner is progressing through their course.
Another difference is that if you become an Assessor you will not only be required to have a thorough understanding of the subject you are teaching, but also the formal standards. These have to be met by the candidate before you can sign off their qualification. The standards are often set out by the awarding body so it is important that you take the time to create a suitable assessment plan which covers everything they outline.
Just like with teaching, you will still be communicating with candidates. However, rather than passing on your knowledge, you will spend time gathering evidence to support that the candidate has met the required standards.
Similarities Between The Two
There is some overlap between teaching and assessing, which is why the two can sometimes be confused. When teaching students, you will also need to check that this is being understood and absorbed. Therefore as part of your teaching plan, assessments will need to be carried out periodically in order to check their learning is on track.
Both teaching and assessing also require a certain degree of planning and preparation. This ensures standards of an awarding body or organisation are adhered to.
Steve is a Chartered Manager and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
He provides Educational Consultancy to the 19+ sector as well as being an Assessor, IQA, EPA and Digital Marketing Professional. When not doing any of these he finds time, every now and then, to write blogs and articles.