Taqa Unit 301

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Anthony Walton

Unit 301: Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment.


1. The function of assessment in learning and development:

Assessment plays a significant role in the learning experience of students. It determines their progression through their programmes and enables them to demonstrate that they have achieved the intended learning outcomes. It is assessment that provides the main basis for public recognition of achievement, through the awarding of qualifications and/or credit. Assessment covers the whole development of student learning evaluation, while grading refers to the specific attachment of marks/grades.

2. The key concepts and principles of assessment:

There are four key principles of assessment:
• Validity
• Reliability
• Practicality
• Fairness
Assessments must be appropriate for their intended purpose. They must assess the right skills and allow the learner to demonstrate the necessary range of knowledge and skills as defined in the unit specification (sufficiency). Reliability:

There must be consistency in the interpretation of evidence from one assessment to the next across time and consistency of interpretation across all assessors. This means that the same conditions of assessment should be adhered to for all learners and that work produced out with supervised conditions is authenticated and judged to be the work of the learner. This process is supported by clarity in marking guidance and marking schemes combined with centre standardisation and ongoing assessor professional learning relating to the understanding of national standards. Practicality:

Assessment procedures should be practicable and manageable to deliver in terms of time and resources. Fairness:
Assessment procedures and practices must be clear and not disadvantage any student. Provision must also be made for reassessment.

3. The responsibilities of an assessor:

In deciding whether a candidate should be awarded an NVQ, the assessor will need to go through the following stages: • becoming familiar with the standards
• planning for assessment
• collecting evidence of the candidate’s performance
• judging the candidate’s evidence against the NVQ standards and making an assessment decision • recording the assessment decision.

Assessors must:

• ensure that candidates understand what is expected of them, what is to be assessed and how it is to be assessed • ensure that the conditions and materials required for assessment are available

• observe and record candidates carrying out the activities described in the standards — records should say what has been observed, how is was carried out, and what it demonstrated

• know who will act as an internal verifier and ensure the candidate understands the IV’s role

• know who will be the expert witness and ensure that the candidate understands the role of the expert witness

• question candidates and record results
• help candidates to gather and provide evidence
• judge all evidence, including that from expert witnesses • authenticate the evidence that candidates provide
• record achievement
• identify gaps or shortfalls in candidates’ competence
• give candidates feedback.

4. The regulations and requirements relevant to assessment in my own area of practice:

• Complying with the regulations and standards of the Construction Awards Alliance. • Safeguarding learners during assessment.
• Disability Discrimination Act.
• Equality and Diversity legislation.
• Health & Safety.
• The recording and logging of assessment decisions and evidence. • Communicating of judgements and decisions with learners. • Standardisation and quality assurance of assessment. • Informing learners of their right to appeal a decision of assessment.

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