Forms of Assessment
Assessment should be:
- Open and transparent;
- Continuous and not a last minute end of course procedure;
- Reliable and rigorous;
- Relevant to the target group;
- Sufficient to produce enough evidence to meet the Assessment Criteria.
Assessment methods selected should be relevant and reflect the needs of the group. It is good practice to ensure that learners have copies of the Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria so they are aware of expectations, this may include explaining how learners can achieve at different levels.
Any assessment strategy should include a variety of assessment methods appropriate to the target group and subject, e.g.
- Observations of naturally occurring activities e.g. role play, simulations, practical activities, performance, exhibition etc.
- Discussions, ranging from unstructured informal conversations to guided discussions.
- Production of artefacts, drawings etc.
- Structured tasks e.g. project, essay, case study, assignment.
- Reflective diary/journal/logbook.
Informal / Formal Assessment
Informal assessment is ongoing, integrated and flexible. It is varied, and can be carried out by either the tutor or the learner - it could include any of the following:
|Non paper based informal assessment||Paper based informal assessment|
|Games||Self assessment checklist|
|Unstructured discussion||Learning journal|
|Conversation||Written Questions and Answers|
|Question and Answers||Worksheet/gapped handouts|
|Role play||Action plans|
Formal assessment is structured, usually takes place in clearly stated conditions, and is usually used for summative assessment. e.g. a set time to make a presentation or undertake a practical task
|Non paper based formal assessment||Paper based formal assessment|
|Questions & Answers||Application forms|
Assessment in Agored Cymru provision should involve:
- The rigorous application of assessment criteria at the appropriate levels e.g. Entry, Level One, Level Two, or Level 3.
- A process of standardisation to ensure consistency across: learners; sites and units to meet standards.
Assessment should always be:
- Reliable and consistent
- Fit for purpose
Authenticity of Evidence
All assessment practice must have processes in place to ensure that the evidence for assessment is the learners own work. (Plagiarism Policy http://www.agored.org.uk/getfile.aspx?fileid=355)
Tutors and Internal Verifiers should at all times be aware of the necessity of confirming the authenticity of learners’ work. This has become more important with the advent, and increasing use, of Information Technology such as, Word Processing, the Internet, Intranets, and CDs, all of which have contributed to the risk of plagiarism and copying.
While it is almost impossible to eliminate all opportunities for plagiarism and copying, it is possible to take steps to reduce the risks of it occurring:
- All centres should have a plagiarism statement. All learner’s should be made aware of this, and its meaning and consequences made clear
- A statement confirming authenticity of the work should be included with the learner’s file or portfolio, particularly for Information Technology
- All printed Information Technology exercises should be signed by the learner. Where the tutor can confirm that it is the learner’s work they should also sign.
- Whenever possible draft copies of work should be retained. Apart from giving an indication of authenticity, the practice should be encouraged as it provides evidence of development and planning of a larger piece of work or essay.
- A learner’s work, or passages within a piece of work, that are substantially different in level, tone or vocabulary from previous samples of similar work should be queried. Where appropriate, learners should at an early stage be introduced to an acceptable system of referencing, so that external sources can be properly attributed
- In the case of oral assessment (e.g. conversational language courses) any audio tapes should be retained by the tutor, who should confirm to the Internal Verifier the identity of the learner or learners whose work is involved.
- The tutor should confirm that an artefact has been produced by a particular learner
Validity of Evidence
Assessment strategies should clearly correlate with the assessment criteria. There should be a close fit between the assessment methods and learning outcomes:
e.g. if the assessment critieria is ‘Demonstrate the safe use of ladders’ then an essay describing the safe use of ladders is NOT a valid assessment method, but a practical assessment would be valid.
Sufficiency / Fitness for purpose
The assessment strategy must be appropriate and relevant to the target group of learners and the context in which the learning takes place. The assessment must be appropriate to the credit value i.e. a 2000 word essay would be excessive for a 3 credit Level 1 unit. (see NOCN assessment definitions – Where an assessment criterion indicates a specific number e.g. Bake 3 cakes, then there should be evidence to show that this has been achieved.