BEFORE: How do I deal with learners’ stress and anxieties about assessment?

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Affective factors

Assessing your learners’ is part of good embedded literacy and numeracy practice. But sometimes there are other things going on that affect test results.

One example might be your learner’s stress level during and assessment. Another example could be if they were interrupted part way through a test for some reason so that their concentration was broken.

It’s a good idea to have a look at some of the main factors that are likely to impact your ability to assess and teach your learners. For each, we need you to think about how you can address or manage them.

Stress or anxiety is what we call an “affective factor”. Affective factors are emotional factors that influence learning. And they can have a negative or positive effect.

In the stress example above, the effect is going to be negative. There are lots of reasons for learners to feel anxious. This can include past failures, bad teachers, or just a fear of things like maths or tests. We’ll look at test anxiety shortly.

Your learners’ attitude towards the work, study, tutor, other learners in group or themselves is another affective factor that will have an impact on how well they learn and how they handle a test or assessment.

Just a note:

  • It’s good to recognise that sometimes you cannot control affective factors, or if you can, you might only have partial control.

Next up, we’re going to look at dealing with test anxiety and test fatigue in a little more depth.

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