The Assessment Cycle
The Assessment Cycle is a common framework used in assessing academic and vocational courses or programmes. The idea behind it is to provide structured and constructive assessment feedback to the learner and give them an indication as to what criteria they have achieved. The cycle continues until all aspects of the qualification have been gained by the learner.
If you are an Internal Quality Assurer, you will already understand the importance of standardisation. This is where all assessors are checked to see if they are assessing to the same standards. If they are, this means the learners will have met and followed the requirements for their qualifications consistently. Standardisation is closely linked to the Assessment Cycle as by following this structure, it helps to maintain fairness and accuracy when assessing.
Key Areas of the Cycle
The Assessment Cycle can be broken down into five key areas:
This is where you take the time to get to know your learner, and identify how much knowledge they have of their subject area. This will enable you to set them interim goals to work towards during their qualification. Usually, interviews and informal discussions are carried out (not always by the Assessor). The initial assessment is also the perfect time to run through the individual requirements of the learner. Do they have a visual impairment, for example, and therefore need extra time for the assessment itself?
This involves choosing the appropriate assessment methods in order to test both the practical skills and knowledge of your learner. You may need to refer back to the initial assessment in order to check these methods of assessment are going to be feasible within the working environment of the learner. This planning stage may well involve the employer as time scales and target dates for completion will also need to be discussed.
The Actual Assessment
Different work environments will require different assessment methods. Vocational assessments tend to lean towards tests, coursework and presentations. Workplace assessments often comprise of observations and more practical activities which are measured against the qualification criteria.
Decisions and Feedback
Once the assessment has been completed, feedback and grades are given. If it is an End-Point Assessment being carried out, this will either be a Pass, Fail, Merit or Distinction. Standardisation also comes in here as it is important that End-Point Assessors understand the grading scale in detail. Allowing students to be awarded the correct mark at the end of the assessment.
Review of Progress
Finally, the last part of the Assessment Cycle should be a review of the learner’s progress and achievements. It is a good opportunity to raise any issues or things that the learner needs to work on, and also gives them the chance to bring up any concerns they have with the rest of the qualification. These progress reviews should be recorded and run through the next time the Assessment Cycle is implemented.
If you are interested in becoming an Assessor, please get in touch with Brooks and Kirk on 01205 805 155 today where our team will be more than happy to assist you.
Steve is a Chartered Manager and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
He provides Educational Consultancy to the 19+ sector as well as being an Assessor, IQA, EPA and Digital Marketing Professional. When not doing any of these he finds time, every now and then, to write blogs and articles.