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.
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
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