6 Understand quality assurance of the assessment process
6/ 6.1 Evaluate the importance of quality assurance in the assessment process
Quality assurance is used rigorously in education so as to keep expectations at the appropriate levels and to provide clear and measurable standards for both Assessors and Learners.
The quality assurance assessment process is set in place to ensure an organised approach to assessment that is fair and transparent to the learner whilst providing Educators with guidelines and a best practice method to aspire to.
By having set occupational standards within an awarding organisation that abide by the government requirements I have a clear idea as to the needs and expectations I am to produce. At BCoT we use a variety of different methods to ensure that we are all producing measurable methods of tracking our learners progress.
For example, Holly is a learner on the LV3 in Creative Media course who uses her Tracking Grid to see how close she is to achieving the grade she wants for each and every Unit we do on the course.
Each Lecturer must regularly update the Tracking Grid so the learners can see their progress. All Assignments are marked and returned to learners after a maximum of 10 days and a sample of at least four learners’ work from each Unit is taken and internally verified to ensure that the marking abides by Edexcel’s criteria. Work is then externally verified to reconfirm/ challenge the reading of the work which can serve to realign/ focus the standards for the Assessor/s.
The consistency of approach and quality of feedback is assessed and then fed back to the Assessor to serve as a constant reminder of the standards that are the foundation to the course.
The standardisation this provides us brings about a quality assurance of practice and a consistency across our learners that ensures they are assessed against the same barometer as any other students in any other variation on the course.
Different assessors teach on the course so it is useful to Internally Verify one another’s work and review the methods, style, and rigor they apply to their marking. This in turn leads to reflection and discussion as to how we can better assess our learners work. Seeing learners excel in other Units and struggle in others helps us better understand the best differentiated methods for each learner.
As we have 18 Units to cover on our 2 year Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production we cover a wide range of different project and contexts. It is therefore crucial that we maintain a clear approach to assessment regardless of the setting for the assignment.
For example, while one Lecturer may be leading a Film project, another an analytical Research Paper, and a third a Radio show – it is important for the learners that the comprehensive approach to assessment is consistent in ALL their projects so as to teach them about the importance of preparation, planning (process) to assessment outcomes (product) and to help Assessors standardise.
Therefore the bench-marking and measures of achievement, opportunities for learner development and summative feedback needs to be present in all projects. The organisations approach needs to be strong and professional so as to set a level of expectation.
The quality assurance process needs to be used as a reflective tool for an Assessor as part of their on-going Continuing Professional Development as an essential part of the perpetual need for quality improvement in Assessment standards.