Tips to Virtualise Your Assessing Processes
As we saw at the beginning of this pandemic, several flexibilities were introduced in order to allow for assessments to be carried out remotely. The dramatic shift to remote working and learning meant that processes within both learning organisations and businesses had to be reviewed and digitalised quickly.
Assessors, as you will know are always out on the road travelling to and from assessing learners. This freedom and flexibility of being able to organise your own schedule are the main reasons why people choose to become an Assessor. Lockdown has completely changed the way in which Assessors work, and there are lots of different implications that affect assessments when both the learner and Assessor are communicating virtually. Let’s have a look into these in more detail.
Many organisations like Brooks and Kirk have always provided a blended learning approach. This is where the majority of the learning is carried out online, with some face-to-face elements included too. Many learning providers have slowly implemented practices in order to facilitate a smooth transition to virtual assessments. This is a much better approach than trying to change everything at once, which will result in neither the learners nor the Assessors fully grasping what is required of them.
There are lots of different ways in which small steps can be introduced to help move assessments online. Here are a few things to consider during this process:
Can the key KBSs (Knowledge, Skills & Behaviours) still be assessed remotely?
The KSBs which apprentices are graded against vary depending on the apprenticeship they are working towards. These can be checked by referring to the individual assessment plan. It is worth looking through these specific requirements to see whether the KSBs can still be assessed remotely, or whether you will have to use another form of evidence instead.
Are there Assessors readily available?
As in-person assessment has been disrupted following the travel restrictions, you might need to rethink the number of Assessors that you have at your disposal. Are they fully equipped for home working? Do they need additional training in order to be able to carry out their role effectively?
Can bias still be monitored using a virtual environment?
All Assessors must retain some level of consistency when it comes to assessing learners, which is why standardisation is so important to ensure grading is fair. This is much easier to implement within a normal classroom or workplace environment, so considerations need to be factored in to ensure this doesn’t slip when applying remote learning.
Is there still the opportunity to provide candidate feedback?
Whilst most online learning portals have the facility for candidates to upload feedback and evidence for their Assessor to log into, this is even more important to include now. Do you have a system in place that automatically notifies Assessors when a new piece of evidence is submitted? This will really help to reduce administrative tasks, giving Assessors more time to focus on reviewing the work instead of chasing up learners.
Is the assessment process still as thorough online?
Maintaining high standards is extremely important when assessing learners. Although there is an assessment plan which is provided to guide you through each individual assessment, time needs to be spent making sure that processes are still being followed within a virtual environment.
Ensuring Assessors and learners have good connections
Internet connectivity isn’t something that you will have much control over. However, before assessments take place a conversation should be held with the learner to ensure they are able to continue virtually. All parties should understand the processes involved, and what they need to do should they lose connectivity halfway through an End-Point Assessment, for example.
So there you have it, our top tips on how to move your assessing processes online and how both the Assessor and learner need to communicate together. If you would like any information on our Assessor training courses, please feel free to call us on 01205 805 155.
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.