‘Computers-Learn the Basics’ is a course that requires a student to build up a portfolio of work completed through out the study time/course. There is no formal entry level for the course either by the awards body or by the college; it’s suitable for a complete beginner. A. S. O. C. N accredits the course. Method of Assessment The syllabus is made up of Learning Outcomes that the Student will be able to do. Each Learning Outcome is subdivided into Assessment Criteria, the elements a Student can actually do.
The Assessment Criteria when performed by the student are then observed/marked by the Tutor and acknowledged with a Tutors signature and date on an Attainment Objectives form. Once the course is completed and all aspects of the Assessment Criteria met, the Portfolio of Students work and the attached Attainment Objectives form are then sent to the Colleges Examinations Officer who then has external verifier moderate the portfolios. A certificate is then issued to students.
Observation Purposes – of Objectives Assessment The purpose in using an Objectives test is to find out what a student ‘can do’ after studying or taking part in instruction on their chosen subject. Not only does it inform the tutor just how much the student has understood and can complete alone but also helps a student to feel satisfied they have achieved the planned learning outcome for that module or perhaps brings to their attention the need for more tuition and practice.
This is the case in CLAIT, the course is run over usually 30 weeks and a beginner can build up their skills and knowledge to eventually prove what they have learned by completing an assignment on the subject studied in that module. A series of objectives are given to the student who must perform them with 100% accuracy. When the Tutor marks the assignment, he/she can see exactly what the student ‘can do’ and what the student still lacks in skills. So provides vital feedback to both Tutor and student. Purposes – of Portfolio Assessment
Again the purpose of portfolio-based assessment is to give vital evidence or proof to the awards body, Tutor, Student or college what an individual has done whilst on a specific course. For the student seeing a portfolio of work building up over a period of time can be very encouraging and confidence building. In the case of my chosen example ‘Computers – Learn the Basics’ a 15 – 16 week course covering many computer applications and with complete novices to computing this method of assessment is very ‘gentle’.
There is none of the exam pressures or worries about remembering all they’ve been taught throughout the course. For some students this is the first taste of adult education and that ‘going back to school ‘ feeling can be very frightening; especially going to learn a fairly new subject like computing. The added pressure of a more formal exam is something most adults shy away from. Looking back over their portfolio will show the student what they ‘can do’ and the Tutor can also see the hard evidence of the skills he/she has taught.
Purposes – Observation The purpose of Observation as a method of assessment will give the examiner/tutor an instant feedback. It is a formative method of assessment and can span the whole length of the course or just a lesson or even a single task. I think that all Tutors use Observation as a method of assessment without thinking about it. It provides the tutor with vital information that a specific skill/task can be carried out as instructed, with the right techniques. The students themselves have probably learned their skills through observation.
Validity- of Objectives Assessment Using Objectives to assess a student is a very useful. The tutor has or compiles a set of skills/ learning outcomes the student must be able to or should aim to be able to undertake with accuracy at the end of the course period. The skills or outcomes are then broken down in to how they should be done, or how to achieve that outcome in other words Criteria. With the computer course CLAIT the objectives make up an element of certification i. e. the objectives: 1. 1. 1 Initialise application 1. 1. 2 Enter text 1. 1.
3 Load text this make up the element: 1. 1 Enter and load text. The actual performance criteria gives us the tutors instructions on what the student should do to achieve this, however if the student does not meet the criteria, this does not mean the objective was missed. Objectives test like CLAIT are usually undertaken in exam like conditions but perhaps not so formal and rigid. In the CLAIT Word processing print out 3, included with this essay, the student undertook the objectives given in the Live Assessment, but failed to meet the specified criteria.
Under the Element: 1. 2 Edit text Objective: 1. 2. 3 Move Text, the student knew what to do and had all his notes to back this up, was able to move the text to the specified point, the beginning of the third paragraph but did not meet the criteria, the spacing was wrong and resulted in a data entry error. So there can be quite a lot of leeway with an objectives assessment. But I think using an objectives test like CLAIT is definitely a valid way of measuring the skills learned using a computer.
With so many ways to undertake a task on the computer it’s not really the way they do it, it’s the fact that they can do it. Obviously the tutor has standard methods to teach a student how to perform a certain task, usually the correct way but you will find Students will explore when confident and find their own ways to get the Job done! As long as it’s done and achieves the objectives that’s what matters. As a Tutor we must teach the correct methods and try to encourage a student to comply.