Assessors Qualification Unit 1: Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment
LO1 Understand the principles and requirements of assessment
1.1 Explain the function of assessment in learning and development
The assessor will at first meet all learners during their induction process to make sure each individual is enrolled on and to agree their programme requirements such as hours/learning/timetable etc, from this allows both the assessor and participant to both select and choose individual units to make up their programme. Once this information has been gathered the assessor will put in place with the participants input an assessment plan which will include target dates, assessment methods to meet each individual need for example observations, Question and Answer, witness statements or learner’s workbooks/activities collated in sessions.
From this the assessor will review the work produced to ensure that evidenced learner work product has met the assessment criteria required in an individual unit’s specification. Once assessed feedback to the participant(s) is vital as guidance may be needed to encourage additional evidence where needed by the learner. If a learner requires to add additional work the assessor will agree on a re submission date which once completed will show the assessor that the participant(s) are overall competent with the unit(s) selected.
1.2 Define the key concepts and principles of assessment.
As an assessor to make a judgement on a learner’s work produced they must meet VASCR before making an assessment decision, please see below VASCR:
• Validity of work
• Authenticity of the work meets that of their unit requirements but in cohesion to the plagiarism policy
• Sufficiency is it enough for the assessor to award the learner competent of understanding and evidencing a unit
• Currency of the work is up to date with current legislation and requirements of the unit assessed
• Reliability is it consistent the work being provided
It is vital that as an assessor that you are fair, consistent and valid to all participants remembering that assessment process may need to be amended to meet learners needs but allowing the same outcome to be made
1.3 Explain the responsibilities of the assessor.
The responsibilities of the assessor are to ultimately assess the learner’s knowledge and competence of their work produced both theoretically and practically to ensure that they meet the assessment criteria assessed against, it is also the assessors responsibility to support the learners with constructive feedback and offer the appropriate guidance to aid with provided the most effective assessment methods to each individuals needs to give them the best opportunity on gaining a positive result in an agreed timescale.
1.4 Identify the regulations and requirements relevant to assessment in own area of practice.
The awarding body of my place of practice is Edexcel who would request an assessment plan per learner’s qualification which I deliver including Personal Social Development, Sport and Active Leisure, IT Users etc. As an awarding body Edexcel request learner’s work samples to ensure quality of assessment between assessor/Internal verifier and external verifier and at high standard.
Regulations relevant to my assessment in own practice:
• Health and Safety at work act (HASAWA)
• Equality and Diversity
• Data Protection
• Safeguarding students during assessment
• Communicating decisions with learners
• Recording/Tracking/Logging assessment decisions
LO2 Understand different types of assessment method
2.1 Compare the strengths and limitations of a range of assessment methods with reference to the needs of individual learners.
(referenced to the needs of individual learners) Limitations
(referenced to the needs of individual learners)
Observation Easier to demonstrate practical/communication skills. Easier for some learners to demonstrate than write down. (learning differentiation) Some learners are lacking in confidence and many underperform, may be difficult to observe individuals in a large cohort.
Discussion with the learner Allows learners to demonstrate understanding where written forms of evidence don’t show it. Information could be long winded and may not relate to assessment criteria.
Written questions Focus learners on evidence requirements, demonstration of understanding. Identifies learner’s knowledge. Not good for learners with pressure to do this in large group in front of peers if support is needed in English writing.
Skills tests Relevant to learners and effectively demonstrates ability, knowledge and where learners are at. Confidence and disengagement from programme if learners have issues with tests (worries)
Looking at learner statements Identifies needs, strengths and weaknesses. Not always clear and precise if influenced from others in groups.
Project Demonstrates a wider range of skills and knowledge can make learners weaknesses more obvious and could be a way of overcoming a barrier. Can make learners weaknesses more obvious and could be a barrier to learning due to confidence of learners. Within a team it’s easier to shy away or be more confident.
Recognising prior learning Learners can start learning from where they are at rather than repeat what they know already. Confidence of learners having to repeat their potentially bad experiences.
LO3 Understand how to plan assessment
3.1 Summarise key factors to consider when planning assessment.
When planning an assessment, communication with learners and others is important, so that everyone related to the assessment is kept up to date of any related decisions. The assessor should communicate closely with the I.V, and other assessors to ensure that standards are met and maintained. It is also important to keep the learners up to date of any assessment plans that have changed or are outlined from the start, allowing for fair assessment.
A suitable location to hold sessions is also important; this can help the assessor in the creating of the assessment, i.e. is there a classroom free at the correct time, is there an adequate outdoor space or hall to hold practical activities and is the location easily accessible for all learners?
It is essential to consider resources, as they can help the assessor in meeting a range of assessment needs and methods. Do we have ICT facilities or have adequate sports equipment and apparatus also using maybe flip chart paper or using Power Point presentations.
The time period should be considered in regards to restrictions set by the learning facility and the learner, i.e. is the facility open and is the leaner available, It is important to understand fully the assessment requirements to allow time to set learners realistic and achievable deadlines this makes everybody involved aware of important timescales and dates.
3.2 Evaluate the benefits of using a holistic approach to assessment.
3.3 Explain how to plan a holistic approach to assessment.
A holistic approach to assessment can provide the learners with a flexible assessment designed to offer a wider variety to monitor their own individual progress. By collecting evidence and information from the learner from various sources (coursework, observations, presentations, tests etc.) the assessor can work out individuals overall performance giving a number or grade, This provides a summary of the learners’ performance and data which can then be used to illustrate that the learners body of work is of a particular level and so indicates the learners level, suitability, and possible transfer of skills to other courses or work-based opportunities. A benefit with holistic assessment is the ability to provide a grade that reflects the individual learner’s ability through smaller tasks which is actually done in my own delivery to my current group in their BTEC PSD qualification that allows small bit size pieces of work to be managed. This way I can constantly check learner’s performance through different assessment methods in addition to capturing video/ audio and text evidence via naturally occurring evidence I might see in presentations interviews. This choice of assessment helps me embed assessment throughout the project and means that the formative feedback is constant. By meeting various outcomes and assessment criteria via multiple tasks the learner is given a number of opportunities in which to achieve, leading to various ways the learner can enhance their grade for this particular outcome. This is not something which is massively in my delivery but learners can in addition add to the Award level units worked produced to stretch themselves up a level to gain the certificate the holist assessments make this easier for all involved to be able to assess. One of the main purposes of the holistic assessment score is that it gives a grade which indicates the students’ potential in future work. It is important to be aware of differences in the measurement of assessments so that a rundown of performance in each task is a clear indication of specific strengths. It is the responsibility of the assessor to prepare and analyse the content of each learner’s performance to find strengths and weaknesses. I give feedback regarding these strengths and weaknesses along with targeted learning suggestions to help give all involved as much information as possible.
3.4 Summarise the types of risks that may be involved in assessment in own area of responsibility.
3.5 Explain how to minimise risks through the planning process.
When in the process of planning you must firstly identify what risks may arise to minimise them. Please see below potential risks and ways to minimise them:
• Participant differentiation- It is a duty of the assessor to minimise unrealistic/unnecessary stress of the learner as this will impact on the overall assessment process and result outcome. Learners should be made to feel at ease through the assessment process and be aware of their progress made and targets identified.
• Standardisation of assessment- It is essential that the assessment process is consistent, fair, appropriate timings/target, sufficient evidence. All these make up a standardised assessment which allows the learner the best possible chance to achieve units/activities, this allows give the assessor a foundation to go by and relate to when reviewing their assessment decisions.
• Equality and Diversity/Health and Safety- The assessor has a duty of care to each individual, the promotion of Equality and Diversity/Health and Safety is essential both in the classroom and outside the programme as learners are able to understand and apply their knowledge into social the importance of these topics and embedding them into everyday life.
LO4 Understand how to involve learners and others in assessment
4.1 Explain the importance of involving the learner and others in the assessment process.
Involving the learner and others in the assessment process is key to ensure a transparent overall result as the learner can understand the criteria they are being assessed against and ultimately witness how assessment decisions are made. The assessor must also involve the learner is this will help make the assessment process and decision efficient as target date/resubmission of work can be returned with minimal disruption and confusion to outstanding tasks required.
4.2 Summarise types of information that should be made available to learners and others involved in the assessment process.
4.3 Explain how peer-and self-assessment can be used effectively.
Self and peer assessment are important aspects of ‘assessment for learning’ practice as it can be an effective resource for the assessor to see that the learners assessing their own work or that of others can actually be graded against assessment criteria therefore allowing the learners understand how to meet criteria
An advantage of self and peer assessment is that it will:
• Develop and improve the learner’s knowledge gained on subject therefore a more accurate and detailed evidence to be provide against chosen criteria
• Enable an all-inclusive setting in which learners can discuss evidence and support each other with alternative answers
• With learner peer assessing this provides an excellent opportunity to witness learner’s explanation and discuss work marked allowing verbal evidence to be evidenced naturally
• Students understand what is considered good work and why which overall will increase their work product in future sessions
See below research quotes
Self-assessment “is the involvement of students in identifying standards and/ or criteria to apply to their work, and making judgments about the extent to which they have met these criteria and standards meaning more than students grading their own work; it means involving them in the process of determining what is ‘good work’.”
Boud, D. (1995) Enhancing Learning through Self-Assessment; Kogan Page; London
Peer Assessment is where “students use criteria and apply standards to the work of their peers in order to judge that work. Both self and peer assessment are “formative, in that it has beneficial effects on learning, but may also be summative, either in the sense of learners deciding that they have learned as much as they wished to do in a given area, or it may contribute to the grades awarded to the students”.
Boud and Falchikov (1989) in Falchikov, N. (2005) Improving Assessment Through Student Involvement: Routledge Falmer; Oxon
4.4 Explain how assessment arrangements can be adapted to meet the needs of individual learners.
When assessing individuals, assessors must allow suitable arrangements with the learners to give them the best possibility of achieving their work for example adapting the learning process to meet all learning styles. Please see below examples of arrangements than can be made:
• Extended time – As some individual’s may take longer to understand a question or take longer to answer both verbally/written it is the duty of the assessor to take into consideration of this and allow a suitable but overall achievable time to the learner to give them the best chance of achieving their work.
• Learners with learning difficulty (LLDD) must be considered when assessing a learner such as Dyslexia or Dyspraxia resources and assessment methods must be adapted to meet the individuals understanding of task.
• Learners with learning disability (LLDD) must have appropriate support for example a scribe may be needed to help write down the learner’s verbal answers needed for assessment.
• Written/Verbal – The awarding body that the Foundation of Light uses gives the learners opportunity to not only give written answers as evidence but verbal questioning/answer’s will also strengthen work evidence and minimise the need to explain through written coursework which overall saves time in the assessment process.
LO5 Understand how to make assessment decisions
5.1 Explain how to judge whether evidence is sufficient, authentic, current.
• Sufficient – Sufficient work should be measured and checked against criteria assessed against and programme requirements (activities/work evidence)
• Authentic – A simple way to check for authenticity is to compare individuals work with rest of the group to say work is their own, secondly request that the learner signs their work so that the assessor knows that the learners has created and approved work to say that it is theirs, finally if the assessor has suspicions of the work provided they could use a simple plagiarism checker to identify what is copied and what is authentic.