Critically evaluate an assessment process

Topics: Assessment, Formative assessment, Summative assessment Pages: 7 (1991 words) Published: March 22, 2005
Assessment Item 1 - Critically Evaluate an Assessment Process

The assessment system being evaluated is Competency Based Training (CBT). This is used by myself and my colleagues in the Automotive Trade section. This report will include the processes implemented by my section, and what issues are present that impact on how the assessment is conducted. A critique along with personal recommendations that may enhance the process will also be included.

Assessment can be defined as "the process of collecting evidence and making judgments on whether competency has been achieved, or whether specific skills and knowledge have been achieved that will lead to the attainment of competence". This appears to be a simple credo although all too often seems to fail either the candidate or the industry that represents them. To trace the events leading up to assessment, we must first look at the source. Industry identifies a need in the workforce and, in conjunction with Australian National Training Authority (ANTA), they develop a training package which may be described as the "bare bones" of what is required to be achieved. The automotive sector adheres to the training package AUR99. From this TAFE unpacks the training package in which staff can retrieve a translation in the form of units of competency contained in the syllabus for a particular module. This is available to staff on the Course Information Documents Online (CIDO) website. The units of competency can be further broken down into elements of competency. These elements can be translated into further detail through the performance criteria from which the learning outcomes are derived.

An example of a module being taught in "Automotive" is called "Electrical system minor repairs". This module addresses the unit of competency AUR18708A retrieved from the National Training Information Service (NTIS). This module is undertaken by stage one auto-electricians, light vehicle mechanics, and heavy vehicle mechanics. . The module purpose is to provide these trainees and apprentices the knowledge and skills to carry out minor repairs on automotive electrical circuits and systems.

In order to assess a candidate effectively, there are basic principles of assessment that must be adhered to. This report will address and evaluate the above module, and define the principles as outlined below along with observed critiques.

Validity is a process ensuring that the assessment task actually assesses the candidate in the way in which it was designed to.

The module is valid in the assessment as it addresses the outcomes and the learners must successfully complete theory and practical tasks. There is a question of age in the resources used in the section, but as technology in this area has changed little, I believe industry validity is current. Having said this, the inclusion of practical assessments creates its own problems, availability of enough resources, OH&S etc. Because of the financial constraints of having fifteen cars and equipment available at the one time, it is normal to break the class into three groups, with one group doing a theory test in the classroom, another doing one practical task in one part of the workshop and the last group doing another practical in another part of the workshop. Apart from the obvious OH&S issues, there is also the question of how valid an assessment can be if the students doing the theory can copy from each other while it is impossible for the assessor to view the whole of the practical task of all ten people in the workshop.

Reliability. This principle refers to the consistency of an assessment outcome regardless of varying locations, time and assessors.

Although the definition is idealistic, this principle seems to be lacking in many colleges. Due to my experience having taught this module in the light vehicle and auto-electrical sections, and having viewed the heavy vehicle assessments, it is notable that, taking away the human element,...

References: Australian National Training Authority. (n.d.). Retrieved Aug 14, 2004, from
Certificate IV in assessment and workplace training. (2003). NSW., Australia: TAFE.
CIDO. (n.d.). Retrieved Aug 14, 2004, from
Everyone 's guide to assessment. (2004). (2nd ed.). Darlinghurst, NSW., Australia: TAFE and NSW DET.
National Training Information Service. (n.d.). Retrieved Aug 14, 2004, from
NCVER. (2002). Research at a Glance. Competency Based Training in Australia, pp. 159-166.
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