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Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment Unit 301
Outcome 2 Understand different types of assessment methods
2.1Compare the strengths and weaknesses of assessment methods. Assessment can take place in a variety of settings, such as classrooms, lecture rooms, workplaces (or in a simulation of workplace conditions), community and training establishments or examination halls. No matter where it takes place or what form it takes, assessment always involves observation, evaluation, or questioning or a combination of some or all of the three. There are many different methods of assessment, a few regularly used are:-observation, evaluation or questioning. Whether they are used formatively or summatively, the most important issue is whether the assessment is appropriate for the intended outcome. Each learner is initially given a learning styles questionnaire to complete. From this questionnaire the assessor can establish which from assessment may suit the learner best. Observation

The assessor observes the learners as they carry out tasks defined in the standards for the qualification. This observation often takes place in the workplace, or the conditions of the workplace, but it can also be carried out in any other place where the learner is undertaking practical activities which is a positive. Assessors should ideally plan observations to take advantage of any skills or activities that occur naturally in the learning environment, and to make the best use of the available resources. There are times however when an assessor may spontaneously observe a learner carry out a task which can be written up as an observation. One of the weaknesses of observations is that some learners amy beome self –concious or shy/embarresed and feel they are ‘being watched and graded’. The residents or clients may also act differently if they are aware that an observation is taking place and can lead to a distorted picture of the true nature of the learners role.

Evaluation
In some areas, as learners work towards achieving their qualifications they will generate evidence in the form of products of their work. This is the case in qualifications in Health and Social care for instance which is primarily a work-based or practical qualification. Learners may produce CVs, diet plans, weight charts, reflective accounts which can all be used to assess their knowledge in a chosen subject area. These can be incredibly posistive and allow the learner to reflect and be proud of his/her practices and positives. The weakness with evalution is that it has to be done correctly, with enough time to explore areas that may need extra work and encourage the learner in a positive way.

Questioning and discussions with the learner
Questioning can be used whenever an assessor wants to assess knowledge and understanding and the various different applications of knowledge such as reasoning, planning, analysing and evaluating. Questioning can be used to:

* confirm knowledge and understanding where it is not apparent from performance * Address gaps in knowledge and understanding in performance based units * Authenticate evidence by asking learners to explain part of the evidence and/or describe the process of producing it * Assess contingencies where it would not be practical or safe to wait until the skill or activity can be observed *

You can use oral or written questions, depending on the requirements of the outcomes of units being assessed and the circumstances of the assessment. Your choice of method should reflect any special assessment requirements your learners may have. For example, some learners do not respond well to written questions — in any case, you should always ensure that the appropriate reading level is used

Discussions give the assessor the opportunity to gauge the learner’s knowledge and highlight areas lacking which can be taught at a later date. A weakness in discussions and questioning is that...
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