Assessment Methods in Assessing Vocational Achievement

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Reflection on different assessment methods
Throughout my work with candidates I use number of different assessment methods as well as assessment categories. Assessment is a number of different methods which are used to evaluate performance and can be used measured against set criteria. I use formative assessment throughout the process so that every time I interact with the candidate I assess their achievement of LO to guide the learning process which informs my decision about the next stage of learning and assessment. When I worked though the plan with candidates and that together we feel that all LO have been covered I conduct a final summative assessment of the portfolio as a whole. I give feedback on this assessment and make suggestions for further evidence if I feel that the standards haven’t been reached. I conduct formative assessment in consultation with the candidate and give feedback throughout the process so that the candidate has as much support as possible to reach the agreed standard. Observation

The main assessment method that I use it observation, as the nature of the accreditation means that it would be very difficult to meet the learning objectives unless work was seen in context and competency was seen and measured against the set criteria set. Observation is the primary assessment method for practical skills. There are a number of issues that I weigh up before I conduct an observation and below is a list of the benefits and disadvantages of this method. Observation benefits:

• Practical situations, demonstrate competence whilst observed by assessor

• Technology can be used such as video or voice recording which can give a ‘real life’ picture of the candidate and their performance.

• Can be used formatively or summatively

• Able to see naturally occurring practice

• Ideal opportunity to see if theory is applied in practical situation

• There is no plagiarism or issues of validity

• Inclusive as it’s about candidates ability to do the job that you are assessing not on how well they are able to write or critically reflect

• It can be planned to assess specific learning outcomes related to specific performance

• I cans see first hand how the activity matches the standards and holistically reference to other LO

• Good observations can cover a lot in a short time therefore cost effective

• Observation allows me to see in practice what areas still need development.

• Observation allows me to see knowledge being put into action.

Observation disadvantages:

• Needs to be verified to confirm judgements

• Can be intrusive

• Can’t check theory or underpinning knowledge it can be difficult to assess knowledge based outcomes and is often not adequate for a full assessment; supplementary assessments are usually required

• Detailed preparation and organisation required

• May be subjective so clear criteria must be used in assessment process

• As I work on a national programme it is very time consuming and expensive

• The presence of the observer can change student's performance as being watched can be intimidating for many students.

• The dynamics of the work being observed may change because of the assessors presence. Where, who and how the observation is being assessed are all factors which may affect a good observation assessment.

• When working with very vulnerable people the ethics of requesting to observe them whilst being supported is debatable

• The work that is being observed may involve service users who lack capacity and as such are unable to give consent to be observed

• Immediate feedback is useful, but sometimes that is difficult due to time constraints.

With an observation I watch the candidate perform the work that has previously been agreed and then I provide this in written evidence format, so that I write down everything that I see....
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