If you’ve looked into assessing at all, you’ll know that the main part of the job is to assess learners. Obviously. To assess your learners, you’ll need to use a variety of different assessment methods. What are they, you ask? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
- Professional Discussion
- Projects and Assignments
- RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning)
- Witness Testimony
- Work Products
If you’re an Assessor and gained your qualification with us at Brooks and Kirk, you will know exactly what an Observation is from your CAVA day session. But, for those of you who aren’t so sure, an Observation is quite self-explanatory; the Assessor watches (or, observes) their candidate carrying out a task or presenting a specific skill. These tasks/skills have to be relevant to the criteria the Assessor is looking for. Observation is the probably the most popular of the assessment methods. It’s reliable and an easy way to cover lots of criteria in a fairly short amount of time. Hypothetically speaking, your learner could cover everything out of a whole unit in one observation.
Another assessment method covered on the CAVA day session, Professional Discussions are a great way for a candidate to show they have a really good level of understanding of the criteria. Not to be confused with the Questioning assessment method (which will be explained shortly), Professional Discussions are where the Assessor has a chat with the candidate about the criteria, to try and get to grips with their understanding of it. It’s easy for a Professional Discussion to slip into a Q&A session, however it’s really important not to as that is a completely different assessment method, which we’ll go on to now…
As mentioned before, and not be confused with the Professional Discussion assessment method, Questioning is pretty much what it says on the tin. Asking your candidate questions to figure out their understanding of the criteria. Now, this can be oral or written Questioning, perhaps in the form of quizzes or exams. It will show you exactly what your candidate does and doesn’t know, and therefore is a great way to look at areas for improvement and how to move forward from then on.
Projects and Assignments
By using the Projects and Assignments assessment method, you as the Assessor can gather a lot of information on your candidate’s knowledge in one document. The project/assignment assessment method can be put into practice with reports or essays, perhaps even some relevant research for the candidate to cover. Any mistakes or parts that aren’t quite right from, for example, an essay, will highlight gaps in the candidate’s knowledge.
Recognition of Prior Learning
Or, for short, RPL. One of the more popular assessment methods with candidates, RPL takes into consideration any qualifications, awards, or certificates that the candidate has gained prior to this qualification. It involves you, as the Assessor, cross-referencing any previous work with the criteria that you are looking for to see if the learner has already covered it before. This is why it’s a favourite with candidates. Simply because it may mean less work for them to do if they have already covered it before.
As an Assessor, you’ll have to have a lot of trust in your candidate to use this assessment method. To get a valid Witness Testimony, you’ll require an occupationally competent professional who works with your candidate to, for example, write a report about a time they witnessed your candidate carry out a task/skill, and confirm their competence of them. The candidate would also need to write a report on when they carried out this task or skill. Then, you as the Assessor would need to compare these with each other. If both reports describe the same situation perfectly, then it’s very likely to be a valid report that can be used to tick off certain criteria.
If your candidate is working in a job role relevant to their desired qualification (for example, an Apprenticeship), then it’s likely that they are producing work on a daily basis that could be used as evidence for some criteria. If the candidate is carrying out tasks that meet the criteria daily, why make them repeat it in an assignment? Not surprisingly, this is another of the more popular assessment methods in the candidate’s point of view; ever heard of the saying ‘two birds in one stone’?
So, they’re the 7 assessment methods. Each one is different in its own way, but it’s good to apply them all to daily practices. If you want some more information on assessment methods, check out our Assessment Methods video on YouTube.