Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment
1. Explain the functions of assessment in learning and development The function of assessment in learning and development is primarily to provide a measure of the students progress. Assessment is carried out through formative (checks throughout the course), passive (to test against previous marks), and/ or summative (at end of course) activities to help the learner see their development whilst allowing the Assessor to give valuable feedback when appropriate. Its purpose is to measure the learners understanding of the subject against the anticipated outcomes set by the criteria.
For example, assessment provides clear measurement and recording of achievement during a course that provides identification of individual achievement or learners’ needs. This captures evidence of learners understanding of a task prior to the assessment deadline to allow intervention to give extra help. The learner’s development is typically measured using formative or summative assessment that meets criteria in a fit-for-purpose Assignment and consequently reflects the required standards and performance/ assessment criteria in any given course.
The purpose is to monitor development via evidence that can be quantified and used as performance review/ targets/ benchmarking throughout a course. From an Assessors point of view it is essential to ensure that assessment decisions are consistently reviewed and internally/ externally verified where possible so as to contribute to the awarding institutions quality assurance and on-going development of best practice. 2. Define the key concepts and principles of assessment The key concepts and principles of assessments include: Fairness – Assessment must be objective and tied to criteria stated by examining body. Internal and External checks in samples of marking are needed at regular stages to ensure the validity of the assessment decisions made.
Reliability – The assessment decisions must be by an assessor with competence in the discipline the work relates to so as to ensure a judgement that is informed by a professional perspective. Validity – Decisions must be justified with clear referencing of assessment criteria stated by the examining body. Another Lecturer should be able to award the same grade for the piece of work as the same standardisation method is the barometer NOT the opinion of the assessor. Safety – Assessment methods must be suitable for the candidates needs. For example, a learner must have an option for an alternative whereby a mental or physical threat to their well-being could be presented by the assessment.
Students prone to stress/ anxiety attacks during group presentations can be given Vlog, Podcast, or 1-1 alternatives. Risk assessments of locations my media students film in serve both to extend the learners understanding of health and safety whilst helping them help me make our learning space everyone’s responsibility. Negotiation with learners to differentiated methods is a useful way to help the learner feel safer in their assessment by managing suitable alternatives to the candidate needs. The key being to identify specific assessment requirements and acting accordingly whilst maintaining that the learners well being is the most important factor. Purpose The aim, reason, and purpose of assessment are to help the learner track their progress, provide feedback, and inspire them to achieve.
The trainer gains evidence of learning from assessment which can in turn be measured clearly against a set criteria. This continuous assessment learning/ training cycle is designed to recognise prior learning and improve it with each assessment. The assessor grades the work so the trainer (if someone different from the assessor) can see the distance traveled on the course when compared to grades throughout the programme. The organisation can use this quantitative data to track a class, department, and/ or, entire organisations performance in relation to peer organizations so employers can often assess their own staff’s performance. Bandler and Grinder’s Psychomotor/ Cognitive/ Affective assessment of specific learning domains – skills, knowledge, or understanding.
Bandler and Grinder’s key concept/ principles can be defined in to three categories: Psychomotor/ Cognitive/ Affective assessment of specific learning domains. COGNITIVE The cognitive domain relates to the more traditionalist assumptions of academic/ intellectual learning. In this domain Bandler and Grinder counted ‘knowledge, comprehension/ understanding’ as well as ‘application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation’. Cognitive assessment should focus on the application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation rather than towards only the acquisition of knowledge and understanding. To this end any theory in my lectures is made applicable in a video/ practical task that puts in to practice the idea/ terminology/ argument we have discussed – which in turn serves to consolidate and validate the learning. This domain relates to objectives concerned with knowledge and intellectual skills and there are six categories which I can apply in my lectures.
Knowledge: Asking learners to recall specific and general items of information (e.g. media terminology) and also information about methods (‘how do you add this effect?’) processes and patterns (using software such as Photoshop). Comprehension: Encouraging recognition of items of information settings similar to but different from those in which they were first encountered e.g. relating theories and debates to contemporary issues such as Laura Mulvey’s Feminist theory of female objectification in mainstream cinema.