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Aim to provide key guidance on assessment practice and translate this into writing assignments.

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Presentation on theme: "Aim to provide key guidance on assessment practice and translate this into writing assignments."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assessment planning and assignment writing for the Access to HE Diploma

2 Aim to provide key guidance on assessment practice and translate this into writing assignments

3 Topics Key aspects of assessment planning Diploma assessment strategy
Diploma assessment plans Unit assessment plans Grade descriptors Translation of the above into assignments

4 Key documents Access-Grading-Scheme Handbook Index 2013.pdf
Guide to the Assessment and Grading of the QAA Access to HE Diploma All of the sections referred to in the QAA Grading Scheme Handbook Index are available on the One Awards website. Advice and guidance offered by One Awards and its moderators are based on this document. The One Awards guide to assessment and grading is based on the QAA handbook, but includes additional practical suggestions and contexts.

5 Key points on assessment
There is a 'lifecycle' to the assessment process - emphasising that designing assessment comes first rather than last. Providers ensure that everyone involved in the assessment of students is competent to undertake their roles and responsibilities. Providers develop and implement principles and procedures for assessment that are explicit, valid and reliable. These are generic key points to emphasise that a) assignment writing is not a “one off” activity but is part of a process, i.e. it has a life cycle, with one stage leading to another b) everyone involved in assessment, including the students, should be familiar with the process and c) assessment processes should be clearly stated and explained to all with an interest, they should allow both valid and reliable judgments to be made on student achievement.

6 Definition of assessment
One Awards - Assessment is the consideration of evidence in order to make a judgement about what learning has taken place and the standard of student achievement The emphasis is on student learning and the students standard of achievement.

7 Types of assessment Formative assessment has a developmental purpose and is designed to help learners learn more effectively by giving them feedback on their performance and on how it can be improved and/or maintained. Summative assessment is used to indicate the extent of a learner's success in meeting the assessment criteria used to gauge the assessment criteria of a unit. This is to remind tutors that despite pressure on time when delivering units, the use of formative assessment still has a place and should make summative assessment more effective.

8 Key quality criteria Validity Reliability Consistency
Fitness for purpose Inclusivity Authenticity Currency These are the basic criteria which all involved in student assessment should focus on. They are key to any decision making on assessment methods and the tasks students are asked to complete. Internal moderators should be ensuring that they are being applied. Definitions are in the One Awards guide to assessment and grading (see slide 4). See activity 1 in a supplementary document.

9 Diploma assessment strategy
Provides consistency of approach in each diploma and underpins the diploma and unit assessment plans. how to develop academic knowledge and skills required in preparation for their HE courses how to respond to different types of learning any differences in approach related to the level being assessed how to ensure authenticity of the student’s assessed work policy on draft assignments numerical grade boundaries for merit and distinction criteria for differentiating merit and distinction in GD7. policy on managing extensions, late submissions, resubmissions and referrals The essential starting point. The assessment strategy for each diploma should be jointly agreed by the course team, in line with QAA guidelines, and implemented by all. It allows a common approach to be taken, one which has been thought through and not open to individual tutor interpretation.

10 Diploma assessment plans
The need to build an overall assessment strategy into the design of a programme or unit cannot be too strongly emphasised. Form AP1 - Diploma Assessment Plan Template Example of Diploma Assessment Plan - AP1 The diploma assessment plans create an overview of the overall assessment profile for each diploma. This is also gives the course team a “students eye” view of the assessment profile, quite different to that which individual unit tutors may see.

11 Unit assessment plan • Does the assessment process enable learners to demonstrate achievement of all the intended learning outcomes/assessment criteria? • Are there criteria that enable internal and external examiners to distinguish between different categories of achievement i.e. pass, merit and distinction? • Does the assessment strategy have an adequate formative function in developing student abilities? Form AP2 - Unit Assessment Plan Template Example of a Unit Assessment Plan - AP2 This follows on from the diploma assessment plan and starts to add some detail to the assessment planning by individual tutors. It is essential that the basis for this follows the already agreed diploma assessment plan. It also allows a running check too be made that all learning outcomes and assessment criteria are being covered and all grade descriptors and appropriate components are being used.

12 Unit assessment plan (2)
In practice this is where you state, for each assignment, Which LOs are going to be assessed Which grade descriptors and components are going to be graded What assessment methods you will What evidence you will expect from the students. You could also include hand out and hand in dates for example.

13 Unit assessment plan (3)
There are no hard and fast rules but A 9 credit unit would typically be assessed with three assignments. Each student response would be approximately words or equivalent. This is included with a warning! It is only the most basic if guides, in reality it may rarely occur. However, it gives a very general guide to the assessment load which might be expected.

14 Choosing the method of assessment.
The 'traditional' vehicles for the assessment of students' achievement have been essays and examinations, with practical examinations in areas such as the sciences. However, a much greater range of assessment modes is now being employed. Guide to the Assessment and Grading of the QAA Access to HE Diploma One Awards is keen for providers to explore a variety of ways of assessing students. The assessment methods must be compatible with those used by universities in that subject area and adhere to the key assessment criteria e.g. validity, reliability, fitness for purpose etc.

15 Assignment brief It is strongly recommended that the One Awards assignment brief template is used. It must be clear to students what they have to do, how it will be assessed and how grades can be achieved (if appropriate). Form AP3 - Assignment Brief Template Examples of Assignment Briefs - AP3 Using the One Awards template ensures that all of the key information is included in an appropriate form.

16 The following information must be included in all assignment briefs.
Access Diploma title Unit title and code Assignment title (and number if used) Assignment briefing (assessment task information) including word count and format expected e.g. essay, report etc. Assignment hand out date Assignment hand in date Drafts permitted (One Awards Drafts Policy) Mapping to unit (Learning outcomes and assessment criteria) Grading information i.e. grade descriptors for the assignment, wording of the chosen components and any additional guidance. Section for declaration by student (confirming authenticity) The items in black are basic factual information. Those in red are key elements of the assessment and grading process. Further slides follow on these topics.

17 Assessment task information
This must be specifically written to meet the assessment criteria and QAA grading system and not be recycled from other sources. In other words, the task information and hence the tasks, should be “valid”. Each task, should therefore, be linked in writing to a learning outcome or assessment criteria.

18 Verbs used in the assessment criteria of unit specifications:-
Validity Verbs used in the assessment criteria of unit specifications:- Analyse Justify Compare Perform Evaluate Plan Examine Reflect Explain Respond to Investigate Review and revise Judge Summarize Definitions of these terms can be found in the One Awards guide to assessment and grading (see slide 4). It is essential that all involved in assessment, including students, are familiar with their meanings and how they apply to assessment. See activity 2 in a supplementary document.

19 Information given to students
do not give the assessment criteria as tasks, they are not assessment activities. to show learning, the assessment criteria should be incorporated into tasks with a context appropriate for the unit the link though, between the tasks and the requirements of the assessment criteria e.g. analyse, evaluate etc. must be maintained. Please ensure that in trying to make an assignment interesting, current etc. you don’t lose sight of the assessment criteria. All assessments must be valid.

20 Grade descriptors (GDs)
Only those GDs assigned to the unit can be used (see the relevant One Awards approved unit specification document) All of the assigned GDs for the unit must be used in the assessment process and, therefore, appear in the unit plan. At least two GDs, including GD 7, must be used in each assignment i.e. GD7 must be used in each assignment . The same GD may be used for more than one assignment in a unit. Different components for a GD can be used in different assignments. Adding more GDs to the unit assessment is not allowed, neither are you allowed to remove one which you don’t think is useful or appropriate. However, it is possible for you to use different components within those GDs for each assignment. See next slide.

21 Using GDs Tutors must ensure that:-
Students can be rewarded for performance which exceeds the standard required for a pass. The components used are appropriate to the content and format of the assignment. The selection of components can allow varied and developmental grading judgements to be made during the assessment cycle. The standard for a pass is achievement at level 3 of the learning outcomes and assessment criteria included in the assignment brief. Merit and distinction grades are awarded for work which exceeds these requirements in relation to the stated criteria. Awarding a pass should not be seen as a default position for poor quality work.

22 Example: GD 7 : Quality Is structured in a way that is generally /consistently logical and fluent. Puts forward arguments or ideas which are generally/consistently unambiguous and cogent. (modified) Taken as whole demonstrates a very good/excellent response to the demands of the brief/assignment. As this is a GD which must be used in all assignments and cannot be numerically marked, even in maths units for example, it was useful to discuss how course teams could apply this GD consistently across different units.

23 Numerical marking Numerical marking can only be used for grade descriptors 1 and 3. The marks allocated in the tasks must be specifically linked to the assessment criteria. Marking which is not linked to the assessment criteria is not acceptable, as the students will not know for what the marks are being allocated. All assignments must include grade descriptor 7, which cannot be numerically marked. No assignment, therefore, will be graded exclusively by numerical criteria. These are key points which must be followed in numerical marking. It is also essential that tutors read the QAA guidelines to ensure compliance.

24 Numerical marking continued
Numerical grade boundaries for merit and distinction must be clearly stated on the assignment brief (these should be agreed as part of the diploma startegy). A Pass is always awarded for the achievement of the assessment criteria, only merit and distinction grades are determined by numerical marking.

25 Summary Assessment planning – working as a team.
Diploma assessment strategy- key decisions affecting all units Diploma assessment plans – a students eye view of the diploma assessment profile Unit assessment plans – translating the diploma plan into the assessment of each unit Assignment briefs – translating the unit plan into individual assessments.

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