Exploring innovative assessment methods
Exploring innovative assessment methods

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Exploring innovative assessment methods

2 National qualification frameworks

A further aspect for consideration is where a subject lies in any national or regional qualification framework (NQF). For the United Kingdom – and depending on the region of the UK – the levels may have different numbers. It’s important to know at what level you are providing education on the NQF because it can affect what learners are required to know and demonstrate as part of an assessment. Levels one and two focus on qualifications that are at GCSE level; level three focuses on skills equivalent to that of an A-level, and levels four, five and six relate to university or higher education.

Figure 2 presents an example of an NQF. This outlines how different qualifications are categorised. This will change depending on which country you reside in and sometimes what region of a country you are in.

Diagram showing Qualifications & Credit Framework (QCF) levels with common English & Welsh qualifications (secondary & tertiary).
Figure 2 National qualification framework

You will now look at three different subjects from different areas of the United Kingdom National Qualification Framework (NQF). These are listed in Table 1. As part of the UK NQF, innovation solutions have been offered to overcome the challenges associated with learning outside the classroom or away from the education environment.

These examples are taken from real assessments. The assessments provided are perfectly adequate and clearly meet the standards expected. However, you are being asked to consider alternative ways of delivering these that would still achieve the same outcome. When doing so you must consider the barriers and enablers that exist in your professional setting.

For example, in 2020 the UK experienced lockdown and the closure of schools as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. Many learners from primary, secondary further and higher education were asked to study from home. As a result, many education professionals were required to alter (to a greater or lesser extent) how they taught and assessed learners’ work.

Table 1 An example of how different subject areas on the NQF could have innovative assessments

Level on the NQF Subject Provider Product Question Format Alternative A Alternative B
2 Biology

Pearson Edexcel International GCSE

(Pearson BTEC, 2016)

Exam Learners are asked to ‘describe how food passes from the mouth to the stomach’ Written answer Create a one-slide PowerPoint presentation where the learner narrates the answer to the question. Working in groups of three, learners are invited to write a short exam paper based on questions they could receive regarding the digestive system. Learners then administer their own exam to the rest of the class and provide feedback in a question-and-answer session afterwards.

National Extended Certificate In Health And Social Care

Unit 12: Supporting Individuals with Additional Needs

Pearson BTEC

(Pearson Edexcel, 2020)

Report Learners are asked to write a report that demonstrates current practices and procedures for providing care for children and adults with additional needs, including the support given to overcome challenges to daily living. Typed answer

Considering ethics and child protection and GDPR issues:

the learner could create a five-minute digital story that explains how they witnessed and understood these ideas in their work experience.

The learners create an instructive PowerPoint presentation that can be used to teach learners who have no knowledge of the subject ‘current practices and procedures for providing care for children and adults with additional needs, including the support given to overcome challenges to daily living’.
5 Sport and exercise psychology

The Open University

(The Open University, 2020)

Reflective account Learners are asked to identify a situation when you experienced stress, arousal or anxiety in a sporting or other activity setting. Write an analysis of your experience using perspectives from what you have learned on the module. Typed answer Learner uses their mobile device to record their voice delivering a verbalised reflective account and submit a separate reference list if needed to substantiate any resources used.

Considering ethics and child protection and GDPR issues:

Using a mobile device, the learner and a reflective friend engage in a short conversation about the learner’s experience of stress and arousal or anxiety in a sport setting

Looking at Table 1 you can see that in the first example, a GCSE biology learner would have originally been asked to complete an exam where one of the questions related to the process of digestion as food passes from the mouth to the stomach. A written answer was required as part of the exam. Many exams were cancelled as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. Therefore, some of the assessments were not completed. However, as a formative assessment and as a way for preparation for future exams, educators could ask a learner to produce a one-slide presentation with the learner narrating the answer over a 20 or 30 second period. This would also help the learner to demonstrate that they can:

  • verbalise their thoughts
  • use computer technology
  • organise their time and resources
  • create images or access images for use in learning.

These are just some of the skills and knowledge the learner would have demonstrated. Take a look at Table 1 again and consider the alternative assessments provided. It is worth remembering that even if the Covid 19 pandemic was not present many of these activities and their completion would still be relevant to the curriculum.

In some cases, but not all, educators can have an element of control where the creation of an assessment or summative purposes are concerned. For instance, in the second and third examples from Table 1 the educator will have more autonomy when choosing the type of assignment that the learner should submit.

In the next activity you will consider how much the innovative assessment you have planned could meet the requirements of an awarding body.

Activity 1 Using the storyboard

Timing: Allow approximately 30 minutes

Look back at the storyboard activity [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] that you created in Week 3. Consider the following questions:

  1. Your manager approaches you and asks you to explain how the innovative activity you created in Week 3 is aligned to the curriculum and how this helps the learners to achieve the learning outcomes so that they can gain the qualification. What answer do you provide to your manager’s question?
  2. Your manager then asks you if there is a way this assessment could be done if the learners weren’t in school, the training facility or campus. Using the case studies and knowledge you gathered from Week 3 including the apps, explain to your manager how this could be done
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