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Assessment Policy

Assessment Procedures and Policy

Purpose/Scope

  • That the assessment of delivered programmes is consistent with the required standard.
  • That there is an equal and fair access to assessment for all students on the relevant programmes
  • To ensure that the students are given realistic targets and informed of their progress.
  • That there are sufficient tools available to track and record student achievement.
  • In the end, to ensure that assessment leads to valid and accurate claims of certification.

Definitions/Terminology

  • Assessor: The person responsible for making decisions about whether learners’ work achieves the standard required for certification.
  • Formative Assessment: Used to review student progress and inform improvement.
  • Summative Assessment: The definitive assessment of the students achievement and must be to the required standards. This assessment informs a unit grade.
  • Standardisation: A method of comparison to enable assessors at the Saxon Academy of Learning to review the consistency and accuracy of their assessment.
  • Learning Outcomes: What the learner should know, understand or be able to do as a result of completing the unit.

Responsibilities/Roles

Program leader:

This particular role is responsible for overall delivery of the concerned program and also the assessment of the learners, in order to ensure coverage of all units and grading criteria.

Assessor:

This role is responsible of carrying out assessment to the required level for the program concerned. It is also the responsibility of the assessor to provide feedback to the learners, assure the authenticity of work provided by the learner and also maintain records and track individual learner achievements.

Internal Verifier:

Internal Verifier has a twofold role in the assessment procedures. Firstly this person is responsible to ensure that the assignment given to the learners is fit for purpose i.e. the tasks are mapped to the learning outcome.

Secondly this role acts as a check and balance for the assessor’s decision, by verifying that the assessment decisions are valid.

Procedures:

Learner Induction:

At the very initial stage, once the learners are registered, before the commencement of their program, they have to be given a detailed understanding of how they are going to be assessed.

Best practice in this regard is an introductory lecture ideally by the Program Leader. This introduction will cover assessment criteria, procedures, assessment standards, need for authenticity of work and eventually the appeals procedures in detail. It is also ensured at this stage that learners are given free access of the appeals policy.

Assignment Design:

This includes typically:

  • Task of the assignment
  • Mapping to the outcome of the unit
  • Proposition of how an assignment might be presented
  • Proposition of how the tasks might be structured

This procedure also includes the use of predefined forms for the purpose of scheduling, deadlines and dates associated to the assignments.

Also to be taken into consideration, are the points like:

  • In case of more than one assignment for one unit, are they linked to each other?
  • The deadlines do not clash with each other; hence they do not put students under undue pressure.

Written Examination:

This includes typically:

  • Examination set by the course director.
  • Examination set by the awarding body.

Assessment of learner work:

Formative assessment

The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by teachers to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. More specifically, formative assessments:

  • help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work
  • help faculty recognize where students are struggling and address problems immediately

Formative assessments do not generally count toward a final grade. Examples of formative assessments include asking students to:

  • draw a concept map in class to represent their understanding of a topic
  • submit one or two sentences identifying the main point of a lecture.

Summative assessment

The assessment of students work has to be according to the published criteria for the particular unit. The student cannot be assessed on any work which is outside the scope of predefined criteria. More importantly the punitive capping or limiting of grade is strictly prohibited.

The assessment decisions are then to be documented by the use of predefined forms. These forms after completion are to be kept under strict supervision and out of free access zone. Part of such forms could be used for the provision of feedback to the learner. This type of documentation is subjected to Internal Verification.

Tracking Assessment

The above mentioned documentation is also subjected to a secure audit trail. This audit trial would typically include the above mentioned assessment decisions, Internal verification documentation for assignments and student work. Student progression is to be recorded on a module by module basis on an excel sheet. Such documentation is to be kept securely, for three years, after the certification.

Certification Claims

In order to ensure the integrity of the certification, it is vital that they are based on the audited and accurate records. If the procedures are not followed in the earlier stages of audit, as mentioned above, and the checks and balances are not carried out in the required order, it could jeopardise the validity of such certificates. Thus any malfunctions in such trails are to be considered serious and revision of trail is strongly advised.