Reports to adults on their achievements and progress

<b>Forum for teachers teaching adult education </b>

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Reports to adults on their achievements and progress

Post by RichardInValencia » Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:34 pm

Hello everyone,

In my academy we are considering producing reports for adults on their learning. We already do this for children. What I'm interested in is other people's views on this. What experience you have of this? Do adult learners value it? What format do you use? If you have any examples of forms then that would be really interesting.

Thanks in advance for your ideas!


Sally Olsen
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Post by Sally Olsen » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:18 pm

Adults can often do this themselves if they have a template. I adapted the templates at for all my courses and let the students evaluate themselves and others.

In Mongolia at the University of the Humanities, we made a check list for the students with goals based on the curriculum and they checked off each goal reached when they felt comfortable doing the skill.

When we had presentations we also had check lists for each student and they commented on the performance of other students.

For writing, I corrected the writing first and then printed out everyone's contributions but didn't put in names. We went over the contributions and each student graded them according to the IELTS standards - available on IElTS sites. It was an oral grading with students calling out errors or expressing opinions of how to change it or praising something really good. Then I gave back the originals and students checked to see their errors and often asked to see other student's originals to see the errors they had made.

We did a lot of pair work and the students checked each other's work and oral abilities.

I tape recorded the students at the beginning interview and let them hear it in two weeks and five weeks and at the end of the session and they could recognize more and more of the errors in that first interview and thus recognize their progress. (Often students listening to their interview let the tape run on to hear the oral interview of other students so I l asked the best students if we could make a sample tape of their interviews for students to listen to and that tape was borrowed and copied. I found that because the students were near the same level it was more effective if they listened to a good student rather than an native English speaker.)

We reviewed the lesson at the end of the session so I always left 5 minutes to do that and then at the beginning of the next lessons tried to remember what we had studied the lesson before, then a review of the week, a review of the course.

I took pictures, kept their contributions, video taped a few lessons to help them remember, put up a banner with the curriculum and exercises underneath for people who had missed or wanted to review, and they kept the printouts of exercises and their writing contributions. One student would sumerise debates, or talks or activities and we typed those up and they would put them in their binders.

The tool that the students thought was the best was their writing journal. They wrote every day at home or during breaks about their language learning and gave it to me once every week. They highlighted a passage they wanted me to read. I commented so it became a private dialogue. It was great feedback for me as well because I could see where some students misunderstood or didn't get enough information.

They took the IELTS at the end which was the final report card.
Last edited by Sally Olsen on Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Rp » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:46 pm

I guess the issue is: what purpose will a formal evaluation serve?

It has been a long and accepted belief in andragogy [ teaching of adults ] that self evaluation is the most appropriate form when practical. In this regard, Sally is on the mark.

If, however, your organisation requires a more formalised "capture" then I would suggest a blend of meeting curricula expectations and that of the adults' evaluation on meeting theirs.

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Benchmarks, feedback, and real world validation

Post by Eric18 » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:05 am

Let me chime in here too.

Many academic institutions love paper, and completing formal evaluations seems to fit the ethos of many schools and adult students. It's natural for students to want to see their progress documented. Likewise, schools often require documentation of student progress for their accrediting agencies too. Translation: here come the formal reports!

Benchmarks and instructor feedback remain valuable - even in adult education and casual IEP programs.

Yet the most critical evaluation remains student experiences. Videotaping student performances - in mock job interviews, class discussions, presentations, and even conversations - is a very powerful teaching tool. Students can see their own progress.

Let me suggest one more method: give adult students real world assignments outside the safe zone of the ESL class. I assign, for instance, informational interviews where students must interview someone who has a job that they want to have. This assignment requires considerable preparation, but the payoff can be huge. Students have a chance to gain insider information on potential jobs, test their language skills, and usually receive real world validation of their progress.

If you are interested in informational interviews, here are some useful links.
Vanderbilt University, an elite private university in Tennessee, has compiled an impressive list of 60 informational interviews from a wide variety of disciplines and professions. (Peabody is a leading school of Education within Vanderbilt University). These provide illuminating examples of real-life informational interviews. Note: some speakers have a strong southern accent. ... _field.htm

Here’s a solid collection of typical informational interview questions from, a fairly reliable New York Times-owned website. Questions are divided into Occupational and Functional categories. ... vquest.htm

Here’s a basic video, perhaps targeted for adult education and community college students, that reviews the fundamentals of conducting an informational interview. ... Video.html

Good luck and let's embrace student desires to see their progress documented!

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Post by longshikong » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:25 pm

Great thread!!! Thanks everyone.

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