Tag Archives: UNIT 1

5/ 5.2 Explain how to ensure that assessment decisions are: made against specified criteria, valid, reliable, and/ or fair

5. Understand how to make assessment decisions

5.2 Explain how to ensure that assessment decisions are: made against specified criteria, valid, reliable, and fair

It is crucial to ensure that all Assignments and/ or exam criteria relate directly to the relevant awarding body’s specifiction requirements.

Regular meeting in teams/ department’s to internally verify the decisions made by Assessors is a good way to test that reference to the specifications throughout the assessment decision are present consistently.

Once this is achieved a similar method is used to test whether or not the Assessor has accurately measured the performance of a learner using the methods agreed within the assessment that it was agreed within the Internal Verification process suited the situation/ context.

To gain validity the Assessor must work to make sure that the same result will occur regardless of who is assessing. To this end the criteria an instructions as to how to achieve it must be clear and achievable when the assessment decision takes place

Equality and diversity and individual requirements need to also have been considered eg allowing extra time, alternate methods (vlog or podcast) for the learner in accordance with their needs identified in the group profile.

5/ 5.1 Explain how to judge whether evidence is: sufficient, authentic, and/ or current

5. Understand how to make assessment decisions

5.1 Explain how to judge whether evidence is:
 sufficient
 authentic
 current

When assessing I work with my peers to ensure that the requirements are met by cross-referencing to the exemplars in the Edexcel specification and comparing to previously Internally and Externally Verified work.

I know that the work is sufficient when I compare it against previous Pass/ Merit/ Distinction work and talk it through with other Lecturers who have delivered/ assessed the work from other learners.

The authenticity of the work is checked using Plagiarism Checker software and ensuring that all learners sign a form to verify that all work is their own prior to submission. The work must be signed to verify that it is that of the candidate before any assessment decision is made. The learners are informed at the beginning of the Assignment and within the Brief itself the procedures they will have to go through should they be caught using others work without correct Harvard referencing. It is crucial that the learners use the methods taught to them in induction so as to prevent plagiarism and best prepare them for Higher Education.

Work is adjudged to be current when it is submitted from my own competence within the subject area.

If I am unable to ascertain the relevance, suitability, and/ or currency of the work I would speak to my peers for their opinions before proceeding with my assessment decisions.

If the working practices around the activity of the assessment have changed since the evidence was produced I am sure to provide feedback to the learner explaining the need to use contemporary/ industry-relevant examples.

3/ 3.5 Explain how to minimise risks through the planning process

Learning Outcome 3 – Understand how to plan assessment

3.5 Explain how to minimise risks through the planning process

As discussed in 3.4, health, safety, and the learners welfare are of paramount concern when planning assessment. In addition to this there are other risks that are involved in my subject specialist area.

I work with both an Internal Verifier and an External Verifier to confirm that my assessments are academically rigorous while being fair, differentiated, and not putting my learners under any un-necessary stress (fair deadlines/ preparation/ assessment methods).

Learners are also given plenty of opportunity to speak to me about any worries they may have in/ out of lectures, in 1-1′s scheduled and conducted via (private) social media/ email, or on the phone. My Programme Manager and Head of Department have access to these methods of communication at all times so can see hoe I communicate with my learners should they ever need to.

Making the learners feel safe and secure in their learning can alleviate any concerns and minimise the pressures on both the assessor and the assessed. Negotiating new deadlines/ extensions and working alongside support staff to help learners is also useful in helping progress the situation whilst helping the learner cope with any anxiety they may be experiencing about the assessment due to internal/ external variables.

My organisation supports me in ensuring I know the routes, timetables, contacts, and protocols of any institution i may visit to assess one of my Apprentices whilst always allowing me to voice any concerns and gain support from my peers if I need it (eg team teaching/ travelling in groups).

Careful standardised planning, logging of assessment decisions in a centralised tracking grid, and clear communication between my team helps me make lucid decisions with impartial professional and correct standards.

3/ 3.4 Summarise the types of risks that may be involved in assessment in own area of responsibility

Learning Outcome 3 – Understand how to plan assessment

3.4 Summarise the types of risks that may be involved in assessment in own area of responsibility

The risks I encounter lecturing on the Creative Media Production courses are as follows:

Risk Assessments are carried out in each room and the learners are trained as to how they can set up lighting, equipment, and signs in an appropriate professional manner for when they capture still or video work on location.

As an industry standard the learners use this Health and safety form I have created for them for every time they engage in a production.

The room I lecture in is air conditioned, wires are neatly clipped together, chairs are safe, and Macs are tested regularly to ensure they pass all electrical tests.

I need to be up to date with all training requirements/ regulations at the college and so have to attend all staff training in relation to Health and Safety whilst also being vigilant in maintaining a safe working environment.

For example, I purchased cable tidies and replaced our metallic tables with wooden desks and briefed my Learner Coach on a students epilepsy so as to give ourselves the best chance of helping him when he was having attacks in class. We had our college nurses number by the phone and were prepared to move quickly, efficiently, and with minimal disruption to the class if the student needed help.

The college nurse has the qualifications and licenses needed to best support my learners in the eventuality of an incident. It is essential for me to work alongside the nurse to notify her of any learners with medical needs that arise in Induction/ my subsequent Learner Group Profile. This has helped me provide a risk free environment for my learners with professional support throughout the course.

Gaining authorisation to shoot on locations with detailed Recce’s, scouting, photographing/ filming of locations before creating Risk Assessments has been very useful as well so as to minimise risk of accidents to the learners. I am sure to exchange official documentation with owner of locations my students work in so I/ our Work Experience co-ordinator can organise a risk assessment prior to the event/ project.

The college aims to ensure that all organisational risks are acknowledged and explained to all involved so meetings and strategies can be implemented.

An organisational culture is also embedded in my learners so they too can take responsibility for their own safety as both an employability skill as well as a basic health and safety standard.

Other risks that may be involved in assessment in my area of responsibility include equality and diversity. I ensure that all tasks are accessible and achievable to all learners through differentiated approaches to assessment. All tasks are available to learners in video, podcast, or written formats where possible. I am available via workshops, social media, 1-1 meetings, and work alongside our Learner Coaches, Learner Mentor’s, and Support Shop to ensure that the high grades on the Assignment are accessible to the learner.

The college has a responsibility to ensure high data protection in relation to the learner profile eg address, date-of-birth, GCSE results, learner needs (personal/ medical) and so the administrator and I work alongside each other to ensure the documentation is labelled as ‘HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL’ and is stored safely and securely in locked drawers and password protected files. Risks may include information about a learners personal needs being seen on the Lecturers desk/ staff room by a learners peers and potentially leading to widespread knowledge of personal and confidential information and a subsequent breakdown of trust with the college.

It is important for me to have high and regularly updated occupational competence. While it is not necessarily a prerequisite for the job, I believe it is my responsibility to keep my skill-set fresh, relevant, and tied to industry so I can draw on examples, case studies, links to incidents that can help me guide my learners through paths I have already taken. For example, the music video I directed in the Summer of 2012 allowed me a chance to compile a blog to evidence the professional manner of carrying out detailed pre-production for an industry standard product. This has served me well throughout this academic year as I can use the Health and Safety Risk Assessment, Recce, Location Release Form etc as evidence of how to do it.

3/ 3.3 Explain how to plan a holistic approach to assessment

Learning Outcome 3 - Understand how to plan assessment

3.3 Explain how to plan a holistic approach to assessment

In planning a holistic assessment I begin by using the examining body criteria from their website as a reference point to help me construct an assignment that clearly meets the outcomes listed.

I speak to my students via social media to find out what they would like to do and begin shaping ways for the learners to achieve the outcomes via project based evidence that has the candidate involved.

In order to provide opportunities for each learner to flourish in a project, and to therefore obtain the best possible holistic grade, I include a range of assessment tasks ranging from Vlogs and Observations to Essays. This allows me to break my Assignment in to small chunks and provide a differentiated approach to achieving the criteria. The differing requirements and opportunities help me to show a comprehensive approach with logical progression and sequencing between each task that , in turn, allows all learners a chance to shine in particular aspects of the project. For example, a learner may struggle with written work but excel in the Vlog and Presentation elements of the Assignment and so still have a chance to achieve.

I ensure that the Assignment is related to a specific vocational context and tied to industry – ideally with a third party Media professional as a client whilst ensuring that the finished tasks within the overall Assignment meet the learner needs/ preferences as discovered in the social media questioning of my students at the very beginning.

I try to construct my Assignments in a linear and fluent manner so they progress from research to finished product so use the tasks as opportunities to link between knowledge and understanding to skills requirements. For example, the Music Video Producer Assignment asked for pre-production paperwork eg storyboards, risk assessments etc before looking in to regulatory constraints and research in to the structures and techniques of the art form prior to the application of this knowledge to the production of a music video project for two clients.

This projects success lie in the naturally occurring evidence that the students gathered for me whilst in production by commenting, reflecting, and improving their approach throughout by updating their Google+ profiles online with podcast, vlog, and/ or text posts to evidence their progress each week leading up to and including the deadline.

The sequential nature of the assignment progressing from one task to another allowed me to embed appropriate assessment opportunities throughout the project in the form of small updates/ a production diary.

The evidence produced at the end of the project exceeded the amount I had initially deemed appropriate to the learning outcomes/ assessment criteria as the learners gathered more criteria than expected.

This approach is useful for gathering lots of evidence at each stage and so leading to a fairer reflection of the overall, all-encompassing, summative grade awarded at the end of the holistic assignment.

3/ 3.2 Evaluate the benefits of using a holistic approach to assessment

Learning Outcome 3 – Understand how to plan assessment

3.2 Evaluate the benefits of using a holistic approach to assessment

A holistic assessment approach to assessment can provide the learner with a multifaceted assessment that is designed to take a more nuanced and textured approach to their progress. 

By collecting evidence/ information from the learner via multiple dimensions (coursework, observations, presentations, tests etc.) the assessor can then sum up the learners overall performance holistically with a single number/ grade.

This provides an overview of the learners performance/ data that can then be used to describe the learners body of work is of a specific level (eg David is a B student, Mischa has an Actual Target Grade of DMM), and therefore suggests the learners level, suitability, and potential transference of skills to other courses and/ or work-based opportunities.

The major benefit with holistic assessment I have encountered is the ability to provide a grade that reflects the learners ability fairly by breaking my Unit assessments in to smaller tasks. This way I can gain an overview of the learners performance from different assessment methods in addition to capturing video/ audio and text evidence via naturally occurring evidence I might see in lectures. This way I can gain a mean average, overview, fair, representation that can all be added together, reflected on and assessed holistically to create a final mark for the student.

This manner of assessment helps me embed assessment throughout the project and means that the formative feedback is constant. This actually helps me give lots of feedback via podcasts, vlogs and text posts after each task.

It is also motivational for learners as it promotes after each feedback the learner responsibility and learner involvement in taking ownership of the grade on the tracking grid we have for them at each stage.

By linking different aspects of learning through multifaceted assessment I feel I rationalise the overall holistic grade more than I would if it were based on just one assessment eg test at end of Unit.

By meeting a number of learning outcomes/ assessment criteria via multiple tasks the learner has numerous opportunities to achieve. For example, in my recent Music Video Assignment the learners could achieve the U29/ LO3 criteria via 5 different Learner Activities throughout the Assignment. This led to differentiated ways the learner could enhance their grade for this particular outcome.

By linking knowledge-based and performance based assessment opportunities in this assignment the learners demonstrated theory before applying it to the practical task of creating a music video.

The amount of naturally occurring evidence the students captured themselves during their experiential learning via reflection vlogs, maintenance of a Google+ profile, and 1-1 podcasts with me provided even more evidence from which I could gather criteria.

The drawbacks of this approach could be time effectiveness if the Lecturer was to gather  criteria and provide feedback for every stage in a written form. The feedback should be fluid, constant, succinct and formative with clear directions to the learner as to how to improve. I found that by using different media (Video, Audio, and Comments on their Google+ posts) the workload was minimised and natural as I was simply recording the feedback I would normally verbalise anyway. By capturing it in video and audio media the learner could revisit it and I had evidenced by marking of each stage.

Another potential drawback of the holistic approach lies in the fact that two people with the same grade/ score can have very little in common.

For example, one learner may have excellent technical skills while another completely different learner with only adequate technical skills but excellent teamwork and communication skills may have the same grade.

The grade means something quite different for these two people meaning that the ‘holistic’ grade or score does not always provide adequate information for different/ future assessors to develop and improve the student.

One of the central purposes of the holistic assessment score is that provides a mark that suggests the students probability/ potential in future work. It is crucial to be sensitive to differences in the measurement of different assessments so a breakdown of performance in each task is a clearer indication of specific strengths in my experience.

By using more than one measurement device/ metric to determine the level of a performance I feel confident in measuring the learners performance.

The meaning of the given grade at the end of the course is both universal (an order of hierarchical complexity and phase on the skill scale) and contextual (it is provided to a performance in a particular domain in a particular context, and is associated with particular content.)

It is the assessors responsibility to prepare and analyse the content of the learners performance to determine its strengths and weaknesses—relative to the level and the known range of content associated with that level.

Providing feedback about these strengths and weaknesses as well as targeted learning suggestions help me to tell a useful story about a particular performance with as much detailed information as possible.

Relying on only the overall holistic grade can sometimes give an unfair representation of the learners progress.