Understanding the Principles of Assessment

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Assessor Qualification

Unit 1: Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment

1. Understand the principles and requirements of assessment

2.1 explain the functions of assessment and development

Initial assessment is the process which identifies learners needs and can determine where the learner may progress to. Initial assessment can assist in the development of an individual learning plan, giving the learner the opportunity to:

* tell others about themselves
* show what they can do
* make choices and express preferences regarding the learning outcome * express future aspirations
* identify clear learning goals

Without a thorough initial assessment the learning programme may not meet the needs of the individual and an initial assessment may highlight areas of concern or unsuitability.

Formative assessment is a range of procedures used during the learning process to allow the modification of both teaching and learning activities in order to enhance the learning process as required. The use of formative assessment can:

* provide feedback to teachers to modify future learning activities * identify and remedy individual or group deficiencies
* improve the students awareness of the “learning process” * fine tune methods of instruction to suit the specific needs of the individual

Summative assessment evaluates a learner’s development at a specific point during the learning process and provides a tangible summary of where they are, if need be, allowing them to be graded accordingly. This can be conducted, for example, by way of multi-choice exam, written paper, dissertation, presentation or portfolio.

2.2 define the key concepts and principles of assessment

The process of assessment allows the learner to be judged as to their knowledge, skills and competence measured against specific criteria. This assessment of learning:

* enables students to demonstrate what they know and can do * describes the extent to which a student has achieved the learning goals * uses teacher judgements about student achievement at a point in time * is supported by examples or evidence of student learning * ensures consistent teacher judgements through moderation processes * is used to plan future learning goals

Validity ensures that assessment tasks and any associated criteria effectively measure the attainment of the learner against the learning outcome at the appropriate level.
Assessment needs to be reliable as there is a requirement for a clear and consistent process for setting, marking, grading and moderation of assignments.

Evidence is information upon which an assessor makes a judgement of competency and this may include:

Direct demonstration/observation| Performance of a task, or range of tasks, either in the workplace or in a simulated work environment, witnessed directly by an assessor| Indirect demonstration| Use of photographs, videos, etc. showing performance of a task when the assessor cannot be present| Products| Models, items, objects that have been made, fixed or repaired by the candidate| Workplace documents| Rosters, budgets, reports, standard operating procedures etc. developed by the candidate| Questions - written and oral| Asking the candidate about real or hypothetical situations to check understanding, task management and contingency management skills. May be short answer, discussion, multiple choice, etc.| Assignments| Projects, reports, essays, etc. relevant to the requirements of the unit of competency| Third party reports| Documented and verified reports from supervisor, colleague, subject expert, trainer or others| Self-assessment| A candidate’s personal statement on their performance (not generally sufficient in isolation)| Simulation| Simulated activity...
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