What are assessments and why do we need them?

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An assessment is a test of sorts, which allows an assessor to ascertain
whether a delegate has managed to understand the course material that he
or she has been provided.


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Firstly, let's have a look at what an assessment is. An assessment is a test
of sorts, which allows an assessor to ascertain whether a delegate has
managed to understand the course material that he or she has been provided.

The assessment can be in the form of a written or oral test, a practical exam
and/or any combination of the three. Within these we have various tools, such
as essay questions, short questions, and multiple choice questions. We can
have practical exams where the learner needs to make a deduction as to what
theory to apply, or a practical exam clearly stipulating the theory where we then
ask the learner to perform a practical skill that goes along with the theory. Either
way, assessments are nothing but tests.

Clearly the person who is then assessing or marking these tests must have an
in-depth knowledge of the subject being marked, because without that in-depth
knowledge the assessor would be unable to recognise competency (ability) if it
is even only slightly different to what the answer sheet provides.

An example of this can be seen in the different answers to one simple question:

Q: Should you have eight apples and four people, how would you go about
distributing the apples equally?
1. Start by giving out one apple each (1+ 1 + 1+ 1 = 4) then repeat. Each
individual receives two apples.
Or
2. Give each person two apples. (2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 8)
Or
3. Divide the number of apples by the number of people. (8 / 4 = 2)
Now, with SAQA (the South African Qualifications Authority) each qualification
is broken down into many unit standards, and each unit standard can be
assessed by any qualified assessor registered against it.
We can thus assess for two reasons:
Firstly, because we want the individual attending the course to use the
recognised unit standard in an effort to earn a qualification. In this instance the
SAQA approved and SETA registered assessor must be used to assess this unit
standard. Learners will receive a SETA endorsed Certificate of Competence once
they have successfully completed the assessment.
Secondly, we can assess because we as a company want to know if the
delegates have been paying attention, and whether they have gleaned enough
knowledge to take them forward and assist them in reaching the company?s
desired outcomes.
Often companies find that the specific outcomes laid out by SETA do no
always meet the required outcomes of the company and would prefer to use a
customised approach, with tailored course material and assessment tools which
are more appropriate to address these specific concerns.
In this instance learners would not receive a certificate of competence
(instead they would receive a certificate of attendance) and the assessor would
not be required to be registered with any specific unit standard (as the course
would only be based on the unit standard after customisation). Assessors must,
however, be subject knowledge experts as well as registered constituent
assessors to perform assessments.
Staff
Training is a SETA Accredited training provider. Call (021) 839 3021 for more
info on short courses, coaching and facilitation. Alternatively
href='mailto:[email protected]'>drop us an email.


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