A1 Assessors Award: the Principles and Requirements of Assessment

A1 Assessors Award: the Principles and Requirements of Assessment

A1 Assessors Award 2011 Understand the principles and requirements of assessment 1. 1 Assessment is used as a tool for marking and grading in a practical environment and can be used to motivate by on-going improvement of the task, creating learning opportunities and to give feedback. It also allows students the chance to work at their own speed to produce the best product, when it is felt that they are competent in the task to be assessed.

This is measured against the tasks listed in aims and objectives of lesson plan and should, Help learners to achieve their full potential and enable learners to achieve the standard required for their course. Encourage learners to develop independent learning skills and identify any further support required so that this can be provided for learners as appropriate, also inform the setting of targets which help the learner to improve.

Enable teachers to analyse learning and progress and evaluate the way courses are taught and managed, to aid continuous improvement and enable employers to evaluate the progress of their learners in relation to the goals of their organisation. Formative assessment should identify the positive achievements of each learner and the areas of their work that need to be improved and summative assessment should provide learners and teachers with an accurate view of the quality of learning outcomes and how these relate to standards set by the relevant awarding body. . 2Principles of assessment * The primary purpose of assessment is to improve student performance Good assessment is based on a vision of the kinds of learning we most value for students and how they might best achieve these. It sets out to measure what matters most. * Assessment should be based on an understanding of how students learn Assessment is most effective when it reflects the fact that learning is a complex process that is multi-dimensional, integrated and revealed in student performance over time. Assessment should be an integral component of course design and not something to add afterwards The teaching and learning elements of each program should be designed in full knowledge of the sorts of assessment students will undertake, and vice versa, so that students can demonstrate what they have learned and see the results of their efforts. * Good assessment provides useful information to report credibly to parents on student achievement A variety of assessment methods provide teachers with evidence of what students know and can do, and their particular strengths and weaknesses.

Lecturers/teachers can then report to parents on how far their child has progressed during the year, where they are compared to the relevant standards, and what the student, the parent and the teacher need do to improve the student’s performance. * Good assessment requires clarity of purpose, goals, standards and criteria Assessment works best when it is based on clear statements of purpose and goals for the course, the standards which students are expected to achieve, and the criteria against which we measure success.

Assessment criteria need to be understandable and explicit so students know what is expected of them from each assessment they encounter. Staff, students, parents and the community should all be able to see why assessment is being used, and the reasons for choosing each individual form of assessment in its particular context. * Good assessment requires a variety of measures In general, a single assessment instrument will not tell us all we need to know about student achievement and how it can be improved.

Therefore, we need to be familiar with a variety of assessment tools so we can match them closely to the type of information we seek. * Assessment methods used should be valid, reliable and consistent Assessment instruments and processes should be chosen which directly measure what they are intended to measure. They should include the possibility of moderation between teachers where practical and appropriate to enhance objectivity and contribute to a shared understanding of the judgments that are made. Assessment requires attention to outcomes and processes Information about the outcomes students have achieved is very important to know where each student ends up, but so too is knowing about their experiences along the way and, in particular, the kind of effort that led to these outcomes. * Assessment for improved performance involves feedback and reflection. All assessment methods should allow students to receive feedback on their learning and performance so assessment serves as a developmental activity aimed at improving student learning.

Assessment should also provide students and staff with opportunities to reflect on both their practice and their learning overall. 1. 3 Responsibilities of the assessor The Assessor is responsible for assessing the NVQ. The assessor works with and inducting the candidate into the NVQ and explaining what needs to be done and identifying any additional requirements. Setting and modifying learning targets throughout the year. Planning assessments and undertaking a range of assessment activities. Providing constructive feedback to the candidate concerning his or her competence and progress.

To record assessments and review progress, ensuring that the candidate has submitted enough evidence to allow internal verification to be carried out effectively. To maintain their own technical and vocational competencies, in the areas which they are assessing and to contribute to the quality assurance procedures within their departments. 1. 4 Requirements for own area The assessments should be reliable, valid and accurate. They should follow a standardised form following guidelines set out by the college, department and City and Guilds.

We recognise that professional judgement is a significant and reasonable part each assessment. However, it is also reasonable that such judgement is regularly subjected to peer review and discussion. Moderation (including external moderation where appropriate) of both the setting and marking of assessment tasks should therefore be established to improve the validity and reliability of assessment methods. The correct equipment and standardised recipe sheets. We have meetings to discuss the standards and double mark practical assessments where possible.

Program teams will develop and implement appropriate moderation to ensure consistency in judgments made about student achievement and the quality of feedback given. 2. 1Different types of assessment Observation- Watching candidates perform in workplace, RWE or class room environment. Observation is a primary or mandatory method with the Awarding bodies. Allows assessment to be carried out when the candidate is ready can be used for all capabilities. Can be used as group or individual, is a fair means if criteria is standardised and the assessments are double marked.

Groups need to be of a manageable number, so all the resources needed are in full supply. Can be tailored to individuals needs to suit the needs and abilities. Observation is an excellent tool for holistic assessment due to the fact the assessor can assess more than one unit during the observation. Questioning- Using a range of questioning techniques either written or spoken. This method establishes whether or not the candidate has the relevant underpinning knowledge. Again is either group or individual, but time restraints of lessons can affect the amount completed by some weaker candidates.

Can be done with large numbers, after a presentation on the relative topic and uses little staffing resources. Some of the learners may not have strong reading and literacy skills so therefore may struggle if left to complete alone, so extra support is required. Professional discussion- A conversation in which candidates describe and reflect on their performance and knowledge, in relation to the requirements of the standards This discussion tests the validity and reliability of a candidate’s evidence and can often be used to cover a range of work activities and units.

It is an effective way to test deep rather than superficial learning, however candidates need to feel confident with this method. Witness Testimonies give an honest account of whether the candidate is fulfilling the criteria during their daily duties – it is particularly pertinent for Health and Safety (Fire Evacuation procedures which cannot always be observed for example) as well as for areas that it is not always possible for the assessor to witness due to time and financial restrictions. Witness Testimonies are used only on the criteria not specified as having to be observed, as laid down by Performance Criteria of each unit.

Witness Testimonies are signed by the Candidates’ Line Manager or Supervisor who will have a working knowledge of the skills required for the NVQ as well as the requirements of the job. As a department we try to stretch learners to aim for higher grades in the VRQ but with NVQ only a pass can be achieved which is sometimes frustrating for some of the stronger learners. Less academic students may not like the theory and struggle to get motivated to go for merit/distinction in written assignments, which will bring down the overall grade if they are getting high grades in practical tests. 3. Understand how to plan assessment 3. Key Factors of planning Key points for efficient assessment planning The following key points illustrate some of the different strategies that will support more efficient assessment planning. Plan around the persons actual work activies, aiming to assess across the whole award rather than individual units or criteria. Plan to cover most routine and predictable performance criteria through several holistic or activity based observations. Always carry out a benefit/effort analysis when planning an assessment. For example is it worth using a research project to cover a couple of criteria when a simple question might provide the same evidence?

Use personal and witness statements to fill small gaps rather than to cover whole elements or units. These are much easier and quicker to write and assess. Assess product of work live in the workplace rather than expecting the candidate to photocopy and present as ‘evidence’. This can be very effectively combined with ‘walk and talk’ or professional discussion methods of assessment. Plan around the individual needs of each candidate. The starting point for assessment planning should be to consider existing evidence before planning for new assessment, for example from accreditation of prior learning and achievement or from previous assessment. . 2 Benefits of holistic approach to assessment Holistic approach to assessment- benefits are cost and time effectiveness as more than one unit can be linked e. g. food storage, preparation, cooking, hygiene and customer service. It can be motivational for learners, promoting learner responsibility and learner involvement, use of naturally occurring evidence. RWE opportunities, meeting a number of learning outcomes/assessment criteria, linked knowledge-based and performance-based assessment opportunities. 3. 3 Plan holistic assessment Identify the subjects to be included in the assessment e. . comprehensive approach, logical progression and sequencing, related to specific context, learner needs. And build into the session and explain these elements are to be included in the assessment. Opportunities to use linkages particularly between knowledge and understanding to skills requirements, naturally occurring evidence, appropriate assessment opportunities, evidence appropriate to number of learning outcomes/assessment criteria and to make show all evidence is recorded. During the planning the student will be informed that assessment is not just on the one topic i. . preparing and cooking fish, but also Food safety and H;S and team work. Involve the student and other lecturers that may teach at a different location or campus to enable them to give you an accurate and reliable witness testimony, they would be involved in planning to make sure all the planned units could be covered at that location. 3. 4 Risks involved in assessment The risks are general to catering and include, knife handling, manual handling and dangerous equipment all of which are include in the learning prior to assessment and will be supervised throughout.

Specific E ; D problems e. g. religious beliefs and disabilities. All the equipment is regularly serviced and P. A. T tested. 3. 5 Minimise risks Assessments should be planned with sufficient time and taking into account the health and safety of the student. E ; D should be incorporated e. g. halal menu items etc. The assessment should be carried with suitable numbers of students for the environment. Standardised marking and decision recording and tracking of the assessment outcomes. 4. Involve learners and others 4. 1 Importance

It is important to recognise current level of understanding through initial assessment, so the students are put on the correct level to suit their learning abilities and styles. Evaluate learner needs and skills and experience, so that they are only assessed when competent. Negotiate targets, objectives and goals for assessment. Break things down to ‘bite size chunks’ and make things meaningful and relevant. This should motivate and give the student responsibility peer assessment is a good way to involve the rest of the group and breeds confidence.

All staff linked to the curriculum should work to standardise the assessment process and make it fair and valid. 4. 2 Types of information The following information that should be made available are the standards and criteria against which they will be assessed. Awarding organisation requirements and specifications. Assessment plan e. g. specific criteria they will be assessed against, timing, venue, methods, expected outcomes. They should be given opportunities for feedback, benefits of assessment and appeals procedure. The requirements of the learner before assessment preparation, specific needs, activity and evidence required. . 3 Explain how Use of peer- and self-assessment to promote learner involvement and personal responsibility Working collaboratively, sharing goals, targets, giving and receiving feedback are ways of getting students involved in the process. Makes them aware of risks of appearing challenging or confrontational, may take encouragement from peers assessment/comments after all they will be giving peer feedback. Students also may get involved in their own and others reflection, identifying targets, target setting, action planning for future assessments. 4. Adapting assessment arrangements to meet the needs of individual learners Negotiating assessment needs with individual learners can identify specific learning styles and range of assessment methods (VAK, visual, audio ; Kinesthetic). Therefore being able to arrange activities to meet their individual needs. Repeating assessments to provide opportunity for experiential learning, competence building and involvement of learning support. 5 Understand how to make assessment decisions 5. 1 Judging evidence That the assessment has met the outcomes and objectives identified in the assessment plan.

Evidence is coherent, accessible, realistic, relevant, attributable, achieved within given times. The assessment/assignment has fulfilled the criteria given to gain either pass, merit or distinction and that work is checked against others to make sure it’s their own work and authentic. Evidence adheres to organisation, industry, awarding body and government requirements and standards. Evidence should be signed and dated by the assessor and learner. Ensure all relevant certificates are in in date i. e. food safety 5. 2 Assessment decisions

Ensuring assessment decisions are made against specified criteria given to the student, the range of evidence is clearly identified, current and meets the appropriate criteria. -Varied assessment methods to check depth of understanding including – oral questioning, UPKQ and Observation. The evidence is reliable and can be repeated or learning transferred. Assessment decisions are fair and relate to the identified criteria, complying with organisation and or industry, awarding body and government requirements, addressing specific learner needs. 6 Understand quality assurance of the assessment process 6. Importance of quality assurance in assessment Ensuring organisation, occupational, awarding organisation and government requirements are adhered to and followed in the assessment and in marking. Standardisation of criteria and consistency of information given. Learners and assessors to be given the correct tools, through a comprehensive preparation, planning and assessment outcomes. Benchmarking the criteria, outcomes and measures of achievement. Identifying development of assessors and Continuing Professional Development needed for quality improvement. The criteria should be clearly set out from the outset and matched against grades.

At Hopwood we do this in our regular standardisation meetings and our work is IV (internal verified). We all assess to same standard to satisfy the EV (external verifier). I believe this to be a fair and valid system and the work marked by merit and no favouritism is shown in any circumstance. 6. 2 Quality assurance and standardisation procedures Standardisation is done in our regular meetings and double marking written assessments and observations help to ensure quality assessment. We share good practice (teaching squares), observation of peers, work shadowing. We give feedback and look at comparisons of process and product in other lessons.

We ask for advice from other lecturers to decide on tight margins. Internal and external quality assurance reviews, evaluation procedures are kept up to date and are standardised. 6. 3 Procedures to follow when there are disputes concerning assessment Follow organisation policies and procedures, clearly written appeals, grievance procedures. An easy accessible systems for appeals e. g. documents for appeals, appropriate staffing for management of appeals, confidentiality, non-discriminatory policy. Updated recording of outcomes, clear paper-trail, keep original assessment sheets and tracking sheets.

Double marking will ensure disputes are kept to a minimum and students treated fairly. The appeals procedure is in the student handbook which is highlighted on the induction. 7 Understand how to manage information relating to assessment 7. 1 Procedures for the management of information Evidence is collated in portfolios, all assessment records and observation records are kept in a confidential and secure location to comply with the data protection act. Physical evidence (photographic) is kept with the relevant records and learner and witness statements.

Use of technology; sharing information with relevant parties e. g. learners, other assessors, employer, colleagues, organisation; regulations covering sharing information e. g. Ofqual, awarding organisation, data protection regulations are followed, at Hopwood we had some training on data protection. 7. 2 Contribution of feedback and questioning Feedback and questioning supports range of evidence. It also helps to confirm learning and under pins knowledge and shows if they have understood the subject/topic. Constructive feedback can motivate a student to try that bit harder for a better grade.

It also identifies further learning requirements and helps with target setting and action planning. At Hopwood we record distance travelled (how learners have progressed year on year). It may identify specific needs or need for support. 8 Legal and good practise requirements 8. 1 legal issues, policies and procedures The relevant legal issues provide direction on how assessment may be carried out. Food safety and health ; safety are main issues we have in catering and all our courses cover those units. We have a duty of care to make sure all learners are safe whilst at college and in each lesson this will be one of the objectives set.

We have learners from a wide range of backgrounds and different circumstances and all with different learner needs. It is important that we do not disadvantage any learner or place them in situations where accidents may happen. Data protection is big in Hopwood’s ethos and we all had training at the beginning of this term to raise our awareness on this, one thing that stood out was that put results on a chart for everyone to see was actually a contravention of this act. We securely store all relevant assessment results and all learners have individual log in numbers and passwords for IT based assessments.

As a department we are responsible for destroying old and irrelevant documents if they are not to be archived. 8. 2 Technology in assessment process In our department we use technology for initial assessments/ diagnostic testing. We use photographic evidence as part of our assessment process for both VRQ and NVQ. We also have assignments submitted electronically and electronic feedback to learners, Web-based learning (moodle now Its learning). The use of ProMonitor for setting targets and ILP (individual learning plans), for students to check their progress and manage their own records. This provides us with password operated security. . 3 Equality and diversity in relation to assessment Hopwood Hall has a Equality and Diversity policy which is embedded by workshop for staff and it is accessed through the Hub our Intranet. The key is to plan the assessment so no forms of inequality and discrimination are present and for the learner to air their concerns. So the assessment process is fair and non-discriminatory and has no negative impact on individuals. I have been involved with assessments on learners with mixed capabilities and carried them out with in the E;D guidelines, different resources for individual learners e. . buff paper for dyslexic and support for learners with poor functional skills and or any disabilities. I teach one girl who is partially sighted and I do her hand-outs on white paper with a larger font as stated on her support plan. We have support plans in place for every learner that requires extra support and these are used to make sure they get the best possible learning experience. We generally have know problems with bilingualism as this would be picked up on diagnostic testing and they would be directed to the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) department.

Flexible approach to planning of assessment negotiating timing, context. 8. 4 Reflective practice and CPD in assessment process Our department sets high standards and to keep raising them we need to be reflective as a team and individuals. Self-assessment and mentor observations help us to challenge ourselves to make the learning journey an enjoyable experience for everyone. Its important use feedback from learners, colleagues, managers, external evaluators, other individuals and professionals and try to develop yourself further for the good of the department and most important the learners.

CPD is of the upmost importance in catering as it never stops still and trends are always changing, updating knowledge, occupational expertise, enhances skills and builds self-confidence, developing technologies to extend and enhance assessment process and contributing to curriculum development by introducing new methods and keeping up to date with changes in the industry so the learners get the relevant and modern skills mixed in with classical cookery for an amazing start to the career development.