Best practice in assessment and moderation

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Fasset (the Seta for Finance, Accounting, Management Consulting and Other Financial Services) recently hosted a Best Practice in Assessment and Moderation workshop at the Park Hyatt Hotel, in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
Well supported by assessors and moderators in the sector, the highly-interactive workshop was presented by the Assessment College?s Managing Director, Gerda Magnus and associate, Abraham de Vries.


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Fasset (the Seta for Finance, Accounting, Management Consulting and Other Financial Services) recently hosted a Best Practice in Assessment and Moderation workshop at the Park Hyatt Hotel, in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
Well supported by assessors and moderators in the sector, the highly-interactive workshop was presented by the Assessment College?s Managing Director, Gerda Magnus and associate, Abraham de Vries.
The workshop provided insights into the role and functions of assessors and moderators, shared techniques on how to plan, prepare and conduct assessments and identified benchmarking best practices.
"Outcomes-based education and training is a wonderful concept if executed well,' de Vries explained. He said he wanted assessors to develop background knowledge and to have a positive attitude towards assessment as an integral part of the learning process.
"When you have an assessment task, you must ensure that the enabling skills that the person must have in order to execute that task have been learnt.
As assessors, we must ensure that the resources and the guidelines are clear, present and given to the learner so that you can gather evidence that the learning has taken place,' he reminded.
The assessment process always requires evidence that strategic learning had taken place and that higher order skills had been acquired by the learner.
It was also important for assessors to take cognizance of critical cross-field outcomes.
These indicate that learners not only have the requisite knowledge and are able to apply the skills, but that they actually understand what this means in the context of their work environment. "The critical cross-field outcomes are as essential as the foundational and practical competence and need to be integrated into your assessments,' de Vries cautioned.
He cited feedback as another important element in the assessment process. Here, evidence should be celebrated, constructive criticism given, and the way ahead should be discussed.
If adopted, this process would ensure that the assessment process becomes a stimulus for learning.
Magnus said the intention with assessment is never to teach someone to pass an examination, but rather to measure whether the learner has developed and whether the learner has learnt anything. "There are many different methods of assessment.
You should select those methods that challenge your learner, so that it becomes a meaningful experience,' Magnus advised.
She conceded that time and cost constraints often meant that 300 candidates were placed in an examination room. "If it works, use it, but at least consider the alternatives.
You may still put learners in an examination room, but what they find being examined may be a lot more challenging, a lot more refreshing than just multiple choice questions,' Magnus challenged.
It was important to recognise that the role of the moderator is much bigger than that of someone who "checks and ticks at the end of the process'. "The moderator is not someone in an ivory tower with a big stamp doing 10% of all judgments.
We would like moderators to accept the role of leader, manager, coach and mentor to assessors and assessment designers,' de Vries informed.
The moderator?s role was to keep assessors excited about their work and to keep them focused. It was also the moderator?s role to inspire assessors and material designers.
Critical to their success, is the need to research and to ensure that their technical skills, knowledge and attitude is of the highest order

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