Thank you

I wanted to say thank you for all of your feedback.

I didn’t intend it to be a useful tool for others but I’m glad that this is what has happened for some of you.

I’m on Twitter @bcotmedia if you need anything else.


2/ 2.1 (Version 2) Compare the strengths and limitations of a range of assessment methods with reference to the needs of individual learners

Learning Outcome 2 – Understand different types of assessment method


2.1 Compare the strengths and limitations of a range of assessment methods with reference to the needs of individual learners

The range of assessment methods used in Creative Media is varied and can be tailored to the learners needs identified in the Learner Profile at the Diagnostic/ Induction stage of the course.

Assessment must be evidenced, and evidence generally falls into one of two areas, either KNOWLEDGE evidence or PERFORMANCE evidence.

In the Edexcel criteria for the LV3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production the Awarding Body Assessment Strategy asks for demonstrable stated knowledge from the candidates that I must capture using a variety of different assessment methods.

The course assessment criteria also ask for Performance evidence within most Units whereby the learner will be asked to evidence that they can do whatever they are being assessed on.

In Unit 29: MUSIC VIDEO PRODUCTION the learner meets LO1 and LO2 by creating a case study that demonstrates an understanding of the purpose, techniques, and styles within the medium (KNOWLEDGE) whilst LO3 and LO4 are achieved with the observation and work product evidence of the Music Video being constructed (PERFORMANCE).

This is often the case as one intransigent fixed style of assessment, while useful for easy standardisation and internal verification reasons) does not always meet the learners/ assessors needs

For example, if you I was only assessing my learners through their production of the Music Video I might see them help out, suggest good ideas, and be a great team member as the work is produced well by the deadline. However, if this is all I have observed the internal verification team and external assessors can only infer this understanding. It is my responsibility as an assessor to provide evidence that shows more evidence of the candidates competence rather than rely solely on the limited observation method.

By asking and recording questioning as a secondary method the knowledge is clearly evidenced, not implied or inferred.

  • Observation allows a chance to view the students communication and professional team-skills and record authentic video evidence of the student demonstrating their understanding verbally/ physically in a professional context they will encounter again either in Higher Education or the workplace.  This provides opportunity for the student to review the work for developmental purposes whilst providing the Assessor with an opportunity to capture engagement with the learner in questioning throughout a set task.
  • As mentioned above the drawback would be the need to supplement the observation with additional evidence which can be time consuming. The nature of observation and the subsequent need to link the evidence to a witness testimony e.g. written/ witness authentication (proving/ evidence of exemplar)/ witness interview is essential for an audit trail as well as the assessors own clarification to their peers. The suitability of video recording evidence must of course be appropriate for the setting e.g. recording learners under 18/ in a public space.
  • Work product is a useful way to assess at the end of a project in a summative grade. The finished product e.g. a Television Advertisement or a Website, can provide the Assessor with the evidence/ culmination of a learners understanding of a Unit. This can provide the learner with work to take forward as an exemplar of their skills to HE establishments and employers whilst providing a industry context aim to an assignment that can make the assignment more realistic and tangible.
  • The end product can be difficult to assess in and of itself so an accompanying pre-production/ making of portfolio is often necessary to contextualise and evidence individual learners contribution (particularly in group tasks) whilst showing the process. This can be time-consuming on the learner and the Assessor if not prepared correctly with clear, well-defined bench-marks for the project at each key stage of the production.
  • Questioning is a quick way to check on learning and ensure a learner is engaged and content with the objective being developed. I use a range of methods in accordance with my Learner Profile so as not isolate/ worry/ un-necessarily fill my learners with the fear that I experienced as a student. I feel that using differentiated socratic questioning (‘do you agree with…’, ‘…what do you think?’, ‘you made a good point in your essay about…’) I can stitch together a conversation using different levels of contribution from every one verbally. Using Twitter my students can tweet in 140 characters a response to a question using a hashtag that enables their peers to see/ respond to the points shared whilst encouraging a succinct, articulate, mature literate dialectic. We also use ILT and social media platforms such as Socrative, Edmodo, Facebook, Google+, and Poll Everywhere to respond to questions quickly and efficiently in a shared space where I can capture the evidence for formative checks at the end of the lecture. Using differentiated methods makes questioning approachable for the learners and eliminates the fear that can stop so many learners engaging in conventional verbalised directed questioning.
  • As I have said there are elements of questioning that can worry learners so a differentiated approach is essential. The lack of standardisation is problematic as well so regular quizzes, polls, verbal checks with learners referring to the same criteria for all learners is crucial to check progress in a fair manner. I have worked with Learner Coaches to record Video Feedback of students responding to objectives to prove learning in a 1-1 which has proved an effective way of doing this – although time-consuming.
  • Simulation can provide invaluable practice of work place situations that the learner will need to learn in a safe and patient environment before progressing to a real work place scenario. The stakes can be high but the margin for error allows the breathing space and understanding necessary to learn practical skills in the context they are being trained for.
  • The key drawback to this can be learners having a limited inauthentic experience of the full realistic scenario they are being trained for and may therefore not take the situation as seriously. To combat this I ensure that I link ALL my assignments to industry competitions/ companies who serve as third-party eyes on the project that encourage my learners to prove themselves in a professional context with the chance of recommendation/ work experience awaiting the best student performance.
  • Witness testimony is an invaluable way of capturing evidence of learners engaged in practical tasks and can be evidenced with video of the learner using skills and reflecting on their practice. This needs to be coupled with written/ witness authentication cross-referenced with the criteria the activity is addressing. I have found that a witness interview is also useful to allow the learner further opportunity to reflect on their progress.
  • A drawback is the amount of work needed (statements/ videos etc.) to prove the learners understanding. The subsequent difficulty in standardising the assessment evidence can be troublesome as different learners may struggle to demonstrate verbally that they understand the task. I find that working with a peer/ Learner Coach is invaluable here for another opinion and a division of labour.
  • Projects provide great ways to set the assessment in a professional/ vocational context while allowing the learners to gain work experience in their field. The beginning, middle, end structure of the assessment provides clear stages for formative feedback, reflection, and a chance to develop team-work skills.
  • It is important to recognise the learner’s prior learning/ occupational performance so as to differentiate tasks and ensure that every one is engaged at all stages of the project.
  • Written provides a learner with a chance to convey understanding in text format. This is a traditional form of assessment that many learners will be familiar with and is a comfortable way to demonstrate learning. This provides clear knowledge based evidence that can be easily mapped across to criteria.
  • Learners with dyslexia and other difficulties can struggle with written tasks so it is important to break Assignments in to small chunks and offer guidance with regards to structure and shaping of a Report. I provide video/ audio options for learners to record evidence whenever possible to alleviate the repetition of endless essays and differentiate the learning/ assessment for my students.
  • Audio is a useful and time-efficient way to store and record feedback of a student’s work that can be played back on headphones as the student looks back over and reflects on their work.
  • The drawbacks can be the learners not having access to the technology to play back MP3’s while reviewing their work. Some learners may prefer more traditional methods and it is perhaps not suitable for annotating an essay as opposed to written. When this is the case I provide a more suitable alternative.
  • Video is a useful way to speak to the learner in a personal way down the lens that engages and focuses the learner on the targets at hand. The Assessor can be direct, specific, detailed, and thorough by replicating the 1-1 feedback in class in a way that can be saved, reviewed, revisited, paused and used whenever it suits the learner.
  • Some learners may not have the technology to easily access the files remotely which can hinder their chances to improve their work. Written feedback is given to such learners as and when it is needed.

I use a range of these assessment methods to engage my learners and provide relevant creative media feedback in the relevant context to the media they are working in (e.g. vlogs for Video related work) but find that the learners tend to prefer the immediacy, relevance, specificity, detail, re-watchability, and personal touch of the video feedback method.

However, if a learner prefers an auditory form of assessment I record podcasts for them to listen to as an easily accessible MP3 that they can revisit to guide them through their work and how to achieve the grade they want. Of course, I offer the traditional written annotation of their work as well but this has become a less favoured method with my tech-literate learners.

8/ 8.4 Explain the value of reflective practice and continuing professional development in the assessment process

8 Understand the legal and good practice requirements in relation to assessment

8.4 Explain the value of reflective practice and continuing professional development in the assessment process

Reflective practice is essential as an Assessor so as to demonstrate the reflective practice that leads to a greater undewrstanding of how to improve.

Self-assessment is something I feel I am constantly engaged in as I seek increased depth of understanding of the process of assessment and a perpetual identification of gaps in knowledge that can help me/ my students.

I participate in #ukfechat twitter debates every Thursday 9-10pm to discuss, debate, share good practice on the topic of that week eg literacy in the classroom/ applying social media effectively etc.

By speaking top peers who similarly share a love of technology/ social media/ innovative ways of learning I am encouraged to reflect/ digest information and apply it in my lectures. This keeps me fresh, creative, and competitive with other Lecturers in their use of new methods to gain assessment evidence from the learners.

I feel that by using REfLECT on the IfL website and BlueSky to log my CPD I am regularly target-setting for myself to review myself as a SWOT analysis.

By identifying my strengths (technology, teaching, learning, flipping the classroom, creativity), weaknesses (plenaries, spending too much time on assessment, managing time), opportunities (learning new tech/ software, observing others, teaching on DTLLS next year), and threats (over-working myself) I can set realistic targets for my own development.

Observations both internal and external provide invaluable opportunity for me to review/ improve my assessment methodology so I am sure to use feedback from peers as to how they log/ store/ work through marking so as to cherry pick the best approaches for me.

Creating surveys, polls and questionnaires with my learners to create assessment feedback that best suits their needs.

As a result of this poll I favour Video feedback for 80% of my Practical assessments but use Audio and Written for Written tasks.

The value of feedback from colleagues and managers is high so as to create a level of understanding as to the standards expected. Constructive assessment of each others decisions, assignments, and teaching style can be crucial to the development of a trainee teacher. Once qualified feedback needs to continue to prevent the threat of becoming staid and inflexible to the changing needs of the learners.

External evaluators feedback is a chance to measure your abilities as an assessor against other individuals and professionals which can in turn help a team review what it needs to do to be considered a Grade 1 provision according to the recognised standards.

Observation reports can provide a critique of your performance and pointed tips and advice as to how to improve elements of your performance. Observing others is something I have benefitted from enormously over the last 5 years of my career.

1-1’s with my line manager that develop my personal targets for development and focus me on achieving outcomes agreed from my appraisal are incredibly helpful to me. I can revisit these targets by monitoring and modifying them on REfLECT or Blue Sky to keep my aims clear whilst adding to my CPD.

Updating my knowledge is essential and something I am very conscious of. To this end I read education sites (edudemic, IfL, Mashable), ebooks on my Kindle, and use social media to engage with other practitioners to enhance my expertise.

To improve and enhance my occupational expertise I am engaged in Music Video Production work outside of college work so as to demonstrate me professional skills and improve my own self-confidence when teaching my students. By working in industry as well as the college I am keeping my skills relevant, sharp, and demonstrating a standard of quality to my learners that informs my teaching.

I used this blog to reflect/improve the idea for the music video and communicate with my cast and crew throughout the production in Summer 2012. By doing this I created a space that the students could look at to see the approach expected in industry.

Similarly by reflecting on my teaching I find that I make modifications to assessment plans, and schemes of work throughout the Unit I am teaching which helps me evolve the idea in to a more effective project the next time around – every time. A major addition on any Unit I teach on is the application of developing technologies to extend and enhance assessment process. I feel that by embracing new technology to document/ give feedback to my learners I am contributing to curriculum development whilst focusing the learning process on knowledge as the time-consuming administrative aspect is minimised by the use of platforms to help organise/ economise the efforts and results from the learners work.

8/ 8.3 Evaluate requirements for equality and diversity and, where appropriate, bilingualism in relation to assessment

8 Understand the legal and good practice requirements in relation to assessment

8.3 Evaluate requirements for equality and diversity and, where appropriate, bilingualism in relation to assessment

Equality and diversity in relation to assessment is essential throughout the learners journey. 

Learners are given support, differentiated options, and SMART targets to help them achieve their aims. When designing assessment activities the work has to meet the interests, employability needs, and diverse nature of my Group Profile.

Challenging the more/less able with tasks that are in accordance with the Equality and Diversity policy means I have options to keep all learners engaged whether it be extra challenging tasks….

….or chances to revise/ catch-up on work missed through work on my blog, social media, VLE space, and/ or 1-1’s in or out of lectures.

Discrimination, and indeed making learners aware of anti and non discriminatory issues through regular debates and discussions, is something my learners are aware of and encouraged to analyse at every opportunity through contemporary media discussions so it follows that my assessments similarly reflect the different needs of my learners.

The Equality Act (2010) consolidates all anti-discriminatory legislation neatly and provides a clear guideline to aid me in differentiating my lectures and assessments. Learners know that they and their peers cannot be discriminated against if they have, or even are associated with someone due to their age, disability, gender, gender identity, race, religion and belief, sexual preference, marriage and civil partnership, and/ or maternity or pregnancy.

Learners actively help me to safeguard against forms of inequality and
discrimination they may encounter as they engage in teaching resources that analyse/ critically decipher the construction of discrimination in out culture and their impact on individuals.

The relevant legislation is abided by and employment regulations and policies and codes of practice relevant to the promotion of equality and valuing of diversity are implemented in all my resources.

For learners with visual or auditory impairment I provide options to construct responses to my assignments as vlogs or podcasts so as to differentiate the task and make it accessible. I wear remote hearing devices for students with auditory needs so I can be heard when explaining/ supporting the learner in a clearer manner.

Learners with physical disabilities may have practical tasks differentiated to reflect their needs eg making the activity achievable. I have provided a steadicam rigs for a learner with limited function on one side of his body, provided 1-1 support for paraplegic learners to help them during filming tasks on location, and also provided audio podcasts of me describing tasks to visually impaired learners when others have had text copies.

To help learners who are bilingual I refrain from my natural inclination for colloquialism and simile by speaking and writing in clear, enunciated, direct statements whilst providing extra help online with my dictionary to help them learn media terminology…

Having a flexibility in my approach to planning of assessment and quality assurance has been something I was not at first prepared for but have found to be key to any success I have had in my career as an Lecturer so far. Negotiating deadlines when life has hot in the way of a learner achieving and adjusting the timing of my deadlines accordingly has helped bring about higher levels of achievement for learners once their context is better understood and accommodated for fairly.

The need to change my approach for individuals learnings styles means I often present a presentation/ vlog/ podcast/ written option for tasks.

Providing additional resources where appropriate on my blog (which I update daily) helps me to have a ready-made resource bank that helps me meet any recognising additional support needs or alternative approaches I may encounter. This has proven invaluable over the years as I have quick access to tools/ games/ articles/ essays/ videos etc that can aid Alexander in antigens situation.

8/ 8.2 Explain the contribution that technology can make to the assessment process

8 Understand the legal and good practice requirements in relation to assessment

8.2 Explain the contribution that technology can make to the assessment process

On the Creative Media Production courses there is a great scope for the use of technology in our assessment process. The ease of access to efficient and appropriate technology is utilised to enhance the learner experience at every opportunity.

For the initial assessments students complete diagnostic questionnaires via a series of online tests that help us determine the ICT, literacy, and numeracy levels of the new cohort. This in turn provides information that I store in a Google Doc that I can build a Group Profile around. The Google Doc is automatically saved and securely shared with peers who need to know key data that will help us better assist the learner/s.

Google Docs is an online/ cloud based version of Microsoft Office that allows me update scorecard versions of live docs that can be accessed on any device. This ease of access makes it a great tool for students as well as they can save all of their work in the cloud and access it everywhere meaning work is never lost. Similarly motherhood based storage platforms such as Dropbox and SkyDrive are actively promoted so work is secure and able to be worked on anywhere.

When work is in the cloud and shared with me by learners I can mark/ annotate docs in different colour fonts/ comments which means the students can receive feedback in real time if they are simultaneously viewing the document. This helps me achieve a quicker turnaround of assessment feedback that is paper-free and accessible on any device for the learner.

The learners and I constantly record evidence of our understanding and assessment decisions respectively in the form of audio and visual statements.

By using handycams, mobile phones, webcams, and/or other media recording devices we can capture the learners communicating verbally to show their understanding whilst enhancing their communication skills as well as their digital literacy (a key employability skill). I find that recording myself aurally/ visually annotating the learners work in files that I can share directly with the learners from my own Dropped to the learners social media or email. This means the learners have a copy of me directly speaking to them explaining the assessment decision and providing tips on how to improve their grade.

Using technology has helped me to log the times of the submission of assignments electronically and enabled the afore-mentioned electronic feedback to learners.

I have set up discussion forums in our Facebook page which has helped learners speak to one another to peer-assist one another completing their work eg asking questions, sharing links etc. This is particularly useful when deadlines approach. Web-based learning like this can stretch learners outside/ beyond the lecture whilst also providing opportunities for distance or blended learning.

Issues of authenticity are addressed by learners signing verification forms to state work is their own – same as with previous non-technological approaches to assessment. If I feel plagiarism has taken place I can run software such as ‘MarkBook’ or other relevant packages to see if the work has been lifted from sites. Lectures early on in the year on the Harvard Reference System at the beginning of the year have helped minimise the instances where this has been necessary.

Having technology for recording and storing assessment evidence has helped me/ my learners go paper-free and be able to access evidence whenever we need to. Security is paramount so back-ups and password protected storage is implemented so personal information is data-protected. Edexcel’s online provision allows us access to the criteria easily whilst also providing exemplars for the students to see and guide them in their own work.

Encouraging the learners to manage their own electronic records on blogs, stoagae platforms, and websites helps cultivate the responsible, digital-literacy that will be a key employability skill once they finish the course.

8/ 8.1 Explain legal issues, policies and procedures relevant to assessment, including those for confidentiality, health, safety and welfare

8 Understand the legal and good practice requirements in relation to assessment

8.1 Explain legal issues, policies and procedures relevant to assessment, including those for confidentiality, health, safety and welfare

In odder to comply with legal issues pertaining to assessment I check with my Line Manager to ensure that policies and procedures relevant to my course are always present in my work. I check the Visual standards and Ofsted site to ensure my methods meet their standards as well as BCoT’s (organisation), and Edexcel’s (awarding organisation requirements).

This informs the construction of my Schemes of Work (VIRAL CAMPAIGNER SOW) that include consistent use and application of SSC/national occupational standards. I feel that by following the recommendations of NOS in my Schemes of Work I can increase the skills and productivity of my learners by developing our qualifications and apprenticeships according to the standards employers expect.

Simplest is the SSC for the Creative Media Industry and helps me build assessment strategies with assessment guidance I know will add value to my Assignments. The requirements for Assessors and IQA’s on which I assess on is based around my own industry experience, my students interests/ needs, and the useful information I found on the Skillset website.

The specific legal requirements for the confidentiality of records and documents that I maintain is necessarily rigorous.

Assessment plans, feedback records, reviews of progress and overall tracking sheets are maintained to satisfactory organisational and regulatory requirements and stored safely altogether they be documents, audio, digital, or video recordings that include the learners.

BCoT, funding bodies, and the learners are aware of my system of record-keeping as they need to approve my storage methods.

The need to be accurate, legible, and to back-up copies is maintainers week. I label clearly and ensure I have ease of access in case I need to refer to it during a lecture.

Health, safety, and welfare is of paramount concern in all assessments as without this the learner is at an unfair disadvantage.

To counteract this we are proactive at promoting and enforcing safeguarding procedures. The college has a duty and responsibility to provide a service to our learners that protects them from harm.

The ‘Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006’ asks Assessors to protect those under 18 and all vulnerable adults (those in community care, with mental or other disability, age, or illness and who is unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation) eg Young mothers or anyone who needs help in society

Making sure my learners feel safe is a my duty of care as an Assessor so I make sure to apply 6 elements of appropriate service provision in all my Schemes of Work; respect, dignity, independence, individuality, choice, and confidentiality.

The four key processes that I follow to ensure my learners are safe are as follows:

1. I carry out an assessment of their needs in early diagnostic tests to determine how I can best support the learner and meet/ exceed their requirements.

2. Planning services to meet these needs by liaising with Learner Mentors, other Lecturers, Learner Coaches, and building a plan to help the learner meet their targets.

3. Carry out an intervention if necessary when I have a concern by arranging a best way forward for the learner and recalibrate the course to their needs eg deadline extensions, 1-1 tuition, working with parents/ guardians to work out the solution that best suits the learner.

4. Reviewing the services offered I can see what has been working for the learner and liaise with the Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) immediately to work out new and improved ways of helping learners according to their individual needs.

Inclusion is essential so teamwork, activities to improve self-esteem, and tasks that apply equality and diversity so that ALL my learners feel valued.

Every Learner Matters (ELM) provides the legal underpinning for the best practice in relation to the well-being of our learners. The 5 outcomes (adapted from ‘The Children Act 2005’) they ask educators to work towards are used in all my Schemes of Work as a way of guiding me towards greater Equality and Diversity in my lectures.

1. Students are encouraged to be healthy so as to maximise their brain function, attention span, and general well-being.

2. Through our Facebook and other social media the students are encouraged to be safe in/ out of college, as well as online. Protecting one another against cyber-bullying is something we have been very adept at.

3. Enjoying and achieving is ingrained in our work every day as regular opportunities for praise and encouragement are used to build the self-esteem of all learners. Screenings of work provide great examples of peer/ Assessor encouragement that the students look forward to.

4. Making a positive contribution every lecture through hashtag Twitter debates, directed (differentiated) questions, and Decorative polls means every one contributes and joins in with discussions in lectures. This is a standard expectation of every lecture.

5. Achieving economic well-being is encouraged through professional behaviours, building impressive digital footprints to help with employability, and developing business/ enterprise activities at every possible opportunity.

Staff development at BCoT provides opportunities for standardisation and sharing good practice of ways in which we all implementdifferent ways of embedding the legal procedures and policies of Assessment.

Work shadowing and peer observation serves as great in-service training that we can then cascade back to our Line Managers as part of our Continuing Professional Development. Reflecting on our own Assessment methods by seeing one another’s approaches really helps me improve and is a key part of the on-going growth necessary if I am to be an effective Assessor.