Assessment systems are incremental in your RTO. There should be method in your madness when developing them. Meaning you should consider the student, the length of the course and any other factors that need to be considered for your learners. When collecting assessment evidence is isn’t just to show the end result. Consider collecting evidence to support the learning process. 

When and why do we assess

When we are setting up our Assessment system we should consider the whole training course and how we can gather incremental pieces of information to support our students. We can do this by conducting formative assessments.

Formative Assessments

  • Used to check students’ progress
  • The information gained guides the next steps in instruction and helps teachers and students consider the additional learning opportunities needed to ensure success

Examples of Formative Assessments

  • Tests and quizzes
  • Asking questions
  • Simple demonstrations
  • Group exercises

These formative assessments are positive to the learner in a number of ways:

  • Allowing the trainer to support anyone who is falling behind
  • Giving the student a break from staring at the board (or death by PowerPoint)
  • They allow consolidation through practice or information sharing
  • Providing feedback to the trainer if they need to go over something in a different way

When conducting a training course that goes over a day it is important to have at least 1 if not a few formative assessments included in the program.

Summative Assessments

  • Summative assessments provide trainers and students with information about the attainment of knowledge
  • The goal is to evaluate student learning of competence
  • It follows training and is mapped against units of competency

Examples of Summative Assessments

  • Questions
  • Skills observation
  • Project
  • Completed tasks
  • Third party reports supporting workplace application

Workplace Assessments

When assessing candidates in the workplace you must be aware of the contextualisation for the performance. The assessor needs to be assured that the learner has the skills, knowledge and attributes as described in the unit of competency and associated assessment requirements. When in the workplace sometimes it is difficult to see performance of every task as required in the unit. Sometimes workplaces don’t do everything as your checklist requires. It is however, your role as an Assessor to make sure evidence is found. Sometimes this might mean a simulated activity.

Remember to record anything that is done so it is easy to follow when your evidence is being validated.

The next question I can hear you asking is what is mapped back to the unit. Well you could map everything back; the formative, the workplace and the summative assessments. If you map the formative assessments then they will become mandatory for every lesson.  So as the developer of the assessment system you need to make a decision, and then provide that as an instruction to all of your assessors.