Assessing Vocational Achievement

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Explain the functions of assessment in learning and development.

Assessment is carried out to evaluate that learning has taken place. It measures the learner’s attainment of knowledge and skills in their particular learning area. Assessment encourages learners to ask questions on anything they have not fully understood, as learners know that they will have to prove their knowledge and understanding during assessment to the standards of the awarding body.

The anticipated outcome of assessment is that the learner will complete assessment to the awarding body standards within the time frame stated. This will be with no assistance and demonstrate through answering questions and completing tasks, that they have full understanding of the subject.

Define the key concepts and principles of assessment.

Assessment has to remain fair, consistent and valid to ensure all learners have an equal and fair chance of receiving a fair assessment. An assessor cannot be swayed to give a learner an easier assessment because they favour the learner. The assessment process may have to be adapted to be suitable to the learner’s needs but, needs to eventually lead to the same outcome. Key principles of assessment are:

Reliability, validity, relevance and transferability. To explain, the assessment should give a reliable reflection of the skills / knowledge being assessed. It should be concise and to a specific methodology that the assessor and candidate understand. The assessment outcome should be valid, easy to score. It should be relevant. Asking a crane operator to produce a 3000 word report would not give a true reflection of their ability to operate a crane to a specific lifting plan. As people differ greatly, assessments should aim to encompass clearly identify preferred methods, specific to either task or knowledge assessment.

Explain the responsibilities of the assessor.

The responsibility of the assessor is to assess the learner’s knowledge and performance in a range of tasks. This includes:

▪ Ensuring that the learner has demonstrated competence and knowledge in the assessment to the standard of the awarding body criteria. ▪ Assessments need to be planned between the assessor and each learner; the learner needs to be fully aware of his/her responsibilities in the collection and presentation of evidence. ▪ The assessor needs to observe the learners performance in their workplace or similar environment and can ask questions to confirm a learners understanding. ▪ Accurate and constructive feedback needs to be given to the learners to allow one to one and group discussions.

Identify the regulations and requirements.

The assessor must take steps to ensure that the evidence provided by the candidates is:

a) Relevant to the task being undertaken
b) Authentic in that it is a representation of the learners own work c) Sufficient to determine whether candidates meet the required standards d) Must take steps to ensure that assessment is carried out in the same way by providing a full assessment specification, including, where appropriate, assessment criteria, mark schemes, exemplar material, and guidance on the use of witness statements.

There are regulatory requirements to take into account. This could include acts such as disability discrimination, languages, religion, age, working with minority groups and safe guarding children / groups at specific risk. This all depends on the environment of the qualification being assessed.

Compare the strengths and limitations of a range of assessment methods with reference to the needs of individual learners.

Compare, as in the above.

Observation – strengths are, “real”. It’s “reactionary”. It’s time bound and authentic. Some people are more natural in this assessment method; the opposite being, some people don’t react well to it and would not be a true reflection of their actual ability. This is a very time consuming process to...
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