There are four Principles of Assessment – Reliability, Fairness, Flexibility and Validity. In our previous Blogs we discussed the Principles of Reliability and Fairness. Here we discuss Flexibility. This Blog be followed by the last of this series which will discuss the Principle of Validity.
Principle of Flexibility
Flexibility in assessment involves consideration of the various needs of the parties involved in the assessment process.
Flexibility is one of the four Principles of Assessment. When designing an assessment tool, you will need to first identify the target group of candidates and:
- Contextualise the tool to their work environment and application. This usually involves designing tasks that can be applied to the type of work they need to perform. The tasks may be performed in the actual workplace or, if this is not possible, in a realistic simulated workplace.
When contextualising the tool, you must be careful to ensure it still addresses the requirements of the unit of competency. You cannot add or remove performance criteria. Similarly, if knowledge evidence is stated as a requirement in the unit, even if the knowledge may not be directly relevant to the target group’s work application, it cannot be excluded from assessment.
- Refer to the training and assessment strategy and the candidate’s situation. The tool must be practical. Consider whether the candidate is in the workplace and whether they will have opportunities to demonstrate performance in the course of their work. Consider what support will be provided in the workplace, including time. If the candidate is not in a work situation which will permit this, then you will need to invent tasks that can be performed in a realistic simulated workplace. This will involve identifying the resources available and the location where assessment will take place.
A great deal of training is now conducted on-line. The candidate may not be able to meet with the assessor face to face. On-line assessment can only really assess knowledge through questioning. It cannot be completely automated and requires the intervention of an assessor and interaction with the candidate. This may involve telephone discussion, Skype or other remote conferencing. In many cases, reports and other outcomes of assessment tasks can be emailed or uploaded to an on-line platform where the assessor can review the documentation, photographs, videos etc. to make their judgement.
As trainers and assessors within the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector, it is important that we not only understand the Principles of Assessment but that we also apply the Principles of Assessment when designing and developing assessment tools and conducting assessment. TAEASS502 Design and Develop Assessment Tools is a core unit in the TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and TAE50116 Diploma of Vocational Education and Training.
Written by Sandy Welton
Please post your thoughts below on the Principle of Flexibility.
As a HRW teacher for 30 years I believe the introduction of CBT has un- educated a generation of construction workers due to inadequate but compulsory assessment instruments overseen, not by the education department, but by state and territory Regulators and SWA
Thanks Sandy. This is great at providing the clarity for what I need to do in meeting the requirements for this principle in generating assessments. It is also provides for what I need to focus on in terms of documenting notes when I will be assessing candidates in my workplace.
The main gist I gleaned from the information provided here by Sandy in relation to flexibility is that as VET assessors we have to be inventive with some imagination, particularly since much more and more courses find themselves (not really a true fan of this) online, how do we best meet all the parties needs during the assessment process and what tools best suit both the candidate and the situation.
Also, what can we do to support our students either in the workplace during work hours or simulated work environments.
Being familiar with the latest technology would certainly behoove us as assessors because we are at times challenged if unfamiliar or not present in the candidate’s workplace and/or online at home studies just like I’m doing right now…. ironically I’m questioning myself really hoping I’m maximising my learning as online dissolves that age old ability to discuss, negotiate, argue and conclude points learnt in my own preferred learning style.
Hi. You stated that “On-line assessment can only really assess knowledge through questioning”. This is not true. Candidates can provide audio or video of themselves carrying out assessments. An example of this could be a meeting which can be videoed. If the candidate needs to demonstrate certain verbal skills, this can be captured in an audio format