1.1 Explain the function of assessment in learning & development?
The reason we do any type of assessment is to find out if the learners have gained the required skills, knowledge and understanding at any given point throughout the learning process. It also gives the learners an opportunity to prove what they have learned and show it, giving a good opportunity to give feedback.
1.2 Define the key concepts & principles of assessment?
The key concepts and principles of assessments include:
Fairness – Assessment must be objective and tied to criteria stated by examining body. Internal and External checks in samples of marking are needed at regular stages to ensure the validity of the assessment decisions made.
Reliability – The assessment decisions must be by an assessor with competence in the discipline the information relates to so as to ensure a judgement that is informed by a professional perspective.
Validity – Decisions must be justified with clear referencing of assessment criteria stated by the examining body. Another trainer should be able to award the same grade for the piece of work.
Safety – Assessment methods must be suitable for the learners needs. For example, a learner must have an option for an alternative whereby a mental or physical threat to their well-being could be presented by the assessment.
Risk assessments of locations serve both to extend the learners understanding of health and safety whilst helping them help me make our learning space everyone’s responsibility.
Negotiation with learners to differentiated methods is a useful way to help the learner feel safer in their assessment by managing suitable alternatives to the candidate needs. The key being to identify specific assessment requirements and acting accordingly whilst maintaining that the learners wellbeing is the most important factor.
1.3 Explain the responsibilities of the assessor?
As an assessor my responsibilities will always include certain factors, I have to maintain the standards of the award that the learners are achieving, which are set out by HSE as a body setting out policy and giving guidance, first aid manual which has been produced as a reference guide and the Red cross, which are the organisation maintaining the integrity of the qualification.
1.4 Identify the regulations ; requirements relevant to assessment in own area of practise?
2.1 Compare the strengths ; limitations of a range of assessment methods with reference to the needs of the individual learners?
Case studies; these can be carried out by a group or as an individual, if done by a group then guidelines and rules must be set out before hand, time to take and time for de-brief must be factored in and clear outcomes must be set. This method is excellent for gaining motivation and interest. It’s also outstanding for building on current knowledge and building on that.
Discussions; this is a great way to engage all the learners, it allows freedom of viewpoints, questions and discussion’s. It can support the assessment criteria but giving the learners a method of describing how they would carry out various activities. However, with any discussion it is easy to go off point and digress so you need to stay focused and set a time limit, the discussion can also be taken over by some stronger learners leaving some more introvert not adding, so good management of the discussion is important.
Assignments; These can be practical of written tasks to assess various aspects of a subject over a short or long period of time, however everything assessed must have been taught beforehand, if it’s done by questioning then there are occurrences that some questions can be misunderstood. It can be time consuming so this has to be factored in beforehand. If practical then individual feedback must be given, this will help with learning progression.
3.1 Summarise key factors to consider when planning assessment?
When planning assessment, you need to device a clear idea of what level the candidate is at, to see if they are ready to complete your planned assessment. There are many ways of achieving this information. One method is observation in performance or another by taking an initial assessment test.Once this knowledge has been gained, further knowledge is needed to suit their needs. What is their preferred learning style, is it part of a group or on a one to one basis? You will need to find out their strengths and weaknesses to get the most out of their abilities to work around and improve on. The assessor needs to gather information that is personal from the learner in order to adapt and provide special needs that they might have. Also the assessor will need to treat all learners equally, ensuring that equality and diversity issues are met. Once this information has been gained, the assessor can then produce an action plan for the learner/learners which is both realistic and achievable so they are comfortable to achieve the best possible results.
3.2 Evaluate the benefits of using a holistic approach to assessment?
A holistic approach to assessment can provide the learner with a assessment that is designed to takes various approaches to their progress. Collecting evidence/ information from the learner via numerous measurements’ (observations, presentations, tests). The assessor can then sum up the learner’s overall performance holistically with a grade. This provides an overview of the learner’s performance/ data that can then be used to describe the learners body of work is of a specific level and therefore suggests the learners level of knowledge. The major benefit with holistic assessment I have encountered is the ability to provide a grade that reflects the learner’s ability fairly by breaking my Unit assessments in to smaller tasks. This way I can gain an overview of the learner’s performance from different assessment methods in addition to capturing text evidence via evidence I might see in the learning process. This way I can gain a mean average, overview, fair, representation that can all be added together, reflected on and assessed holistically to create a final mark for the student. This manner of assessment helps me embed assessment throughout the course and means that the formative feedback is constant. This actually helps me give lots of feedback. It is also motivational for learners as it promotes after each feedback the learner responsibility and learner involvement in taking ownership of the grade at each stage.
3.3 Explain how to plan a holistic approach to assessment?
In planning a holistic assessment, I begin by using my training notes as a reference point to help me construct a project that clearly meets the learning outcomes. I speak to my learners to find out what they would like to do and begin shaping ways for the learners to achieve the outcomes via project based evidence that has the learners involved. In order to provide opportunities for each learner to flourish in a project, and to therefore obtain the best possible learning experience, I include a range of assessment tasks ranging from observations, posters and feedback. The differing requirements and opportunities help me to show a comprehensive approach with logical progression between each task that, in turn, allows all learners a chance to shine in particular aspects of the task. For example, a learner may struggle with written work but excel in the presentation elements of the task and so still have a chance to achieve.
3.4 Summarise the types of risks that may be involved in assessment in own area of responsibility?