Stanmore College gives all first year level three students an ePace Learner Profile Assessment in line with its commitment to heighten learning outcomes
Published by Hayley Enright for Livewire Public Relations in Education
Stanmore College, a general education establishment in the London Borough of Harrow, is using the ePace Learner Assessment tool to improve the outcomes for all its first year level three students. ePace is an online assessment for students, which evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of each pupil in a range of skills and abilities essential for learning. It examines how well each student can process, retain and recall information, which helps teachers to better understand how their pupils learn and adjust teaching and lesson planning accordingly.
After the assessment a personalised report is produced for each student which outlines their learner profile – a colour coded bar chart showing scores in 11 areas, including visual memory, focus, decision making and mental speed. The chart clearly summarises the student’s strengths and areas where they could use more help.
The reports for each student are collated to create a class profile, which shows the teacher how their class learns best as a whole. Teachers and mentors are then able to access a database of suggested strategies and resources to help those who struggle in any particular area.
Tony O’Neill, Assistant Principal,Enterprise, Innovation and Standards, at Stanmore College says, “Our students come from diverse backgrounds and educational experiences. We wanted to utilise a meaningful diagnostic tool to help identify their strengths and weaknesses so that both support and extension activities could be directed accurately to meet the needs of students.”
“As a College we wanted to maintain and improve achievement rates in the face of a rapidly changing intake, and this means a focus on increasing personalised learning. ePace is a tool that assists this process.”
A pilot project using the ePace assessment software was used by the Art department in 2011-2012 to determine how it could be used to help student learn. It was so successful it has now been rolled out for all first year level three students.
The ePace assessment identified students at Stanmore College with specific learning difficulties and, although the College was already aware of most of these cases, the report highlighted areas for which students required extra help. As a result, the Inclusion Team, which works with the students with special needs at the College, has been able to target their support more effectively.
However, the assessment has not only been beneficial to those students struggling academically. The learner profile reports have also been used to pinpoint those students who are particularly gifted. The College runs a Stretch and Challenge programme, designed to support and develop the more able students through a variety of activities including the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). John Murray, Senior Tutor, is responsible for the management of the programme. John refers to the ePace results to help ensure that students are right for the programme, and if any are in need of specific support.
John comments, “the ePace assessment is really great for identifying the more able academic students. The first four columns of the learner profile that is produced after the assessment indicate auditory memory, visual memory, listening and literacy skills, which are all strong indicators of a student’s ability to engage in independent study. The majority of the 26 students following the EPQ have scored highly in these areas, however the assessment has also allowed us to see those young people who need some extra help in specific areas to keep them on track.”
So far, around 95% - approximately 712 students – have completed the ePace assessment. Reports have been made available to staff and student profiles on the College intranet, meaning they can be easily accessed at any time. Using their learner profile, students have been able to discuss areas for development with their personal tutors and gain a better focus on their education.
ePace is an online learner profiling tool that provides an in-depth understanding of a student’s individual cognitive make-up and mental efficiency. To learn more about ePace visit: http://www.epaceonline.com/