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Competency-based Assessment in TQA Accredited Senior Secondary Courses.
Issues to be discussed in this forum…Criterion- & competency-based assessment: how different are they?Why use competency-based assessment in TQA courses?Assessment: methods & issuesQuality Assurance: what, why, who and how?
“Occurs where students’ performances are measured against explicit criteria…its focus [is] on achievement against learning objectives or outcomes.”
learning approach’): Students’ achievement is
measured against a predetermined standard (eg
‘pass’/‘fail’) for each learning outcome.
The criterion- and competency-based approaches share the same fundamental assessment principle.
They are both concerned with assessing learning outcomes against predetermined standards.
In TQA accredited courses criterion-based assessment has traditionally had three gradations (ratings): ‘C’, ‘B’ and ‘A’ standards.
The recently introduced competency-based assessment courses have a two gradations (ratings): ‘competent’; and ‘not yet competent’.
In theory there is no reason to limit the number of gradations in competency-based assessment – both criterion- and competency-based approaches to assessment are fundamentally the same.
In practice the use of competency-based assessment with two gradations is suited to some kinds of TQA accredited courses.
Typically these are courses with learning outcomes where it is more important to determine mastery of a discrete learning outcome (ie. the learner ‘can do it’) rather than measuring the degree to which a learner can do something. Underpinning knowledge is implicitly assessed within the context of completion of a task or activity.
Eg. Learning outcome: Use a household fire extinguisher safely
Examples of common assessment methodologies include:
A marking guide should have a direct relationship to the performance indicators described in the course.
The performance indicators may need to be elaborated in order that they ‘make sense’ within a specific assessment task.
Final assessment decisions should be on-balance, holistic ones based on the evidence of learning outcomes measured against the standards stated in the course.
Considerations might include the:
relative weighting given to individual assessment tasks
consistency of demonstrated achievement
'currency' (evidence from the end of a course may have greater relevance and reliability than that collected early in the delivery).
Summative assessment of learning outcomes result in a final rating for each competency.
The ‘competent’ rating is a final, overall rating and should not be used as a grade in formative assessment/progress reports.
Learners who are assessed as ‘not yet competent’ can be provided with further opportunities to demonstrate competency within the scope of the course’s design-time, provider resources, and TQA reporting requirements.
Some providers use 'not yet assessed' in reports on learner's progress (such as term reports).
While this is perfectly acceptable in this context, 'not yet assessed' is NOT a rating that is reportable to the TQA.
Providers may use any form of grading they wish in assessment so long as the final rating is reported as per the course document (eg. ‘competent’, ‘not yet competent’, ‘highly competent’).
marks out of 10
A, B or C
gold, silver, bronze
The TQA is responsible for the quality assurance for qualifications it awards in senior secondary courses it has accredited. This means that it has to stand behind the statements made on certificates as to the knowledge and skills of the holder of the certificate.
subject experts (when appropriate).
articulated plan for the delivery of the
course and its assessment?
of the course were delivered to learners and
in what order)
A course delivery plan is sometimes called a ‘scope and sequence’.
Course delivery plans could be a ‘whole of course’ plan or could be arranged as a sequence of lesson, weekly, monthly or term plans depending on individual teachers’/providers’ preferred methodology.
Evidence that Assessment is Based on the Course’s Learning Outcomes & Standards
Evidences could include:
assessment task/s that allows a judgement to be
made on all competencies/the award.
them). Number of examples will depend on the
number of borderline learners & the period that
course had been delivered.
other storage mechanisms).
to be robust enough to handle staff changes.