1. 1 Explain the function of assessment in learning and development Why assessments are carried out? What its purpose is What it is measuring What are the anticipated outcomes? To answer this question, let us define assessment as evaluation or appraisal; it is about making a judgment, identifying the strengths and weaknesses, the good and the bad, and the right and the wrong in some cases. It is more than simply giving marks or grades, although that may well be a part of it.
And because it involves making a judgment it will almost inevitably include an element of subjectivity by the assessor. However, we should strive to make assessment as objective, fair and transparent as possible. The function of assessment in coaching is to evaluate whether a candidate is competent in range of specific criteria, it can be used to identify a candidates strengths and weaknesses, and to provide feedback to candidates about their coaching practice.
Assessments assessment plays a crucial role in the coach education process: it determines much of the work students undertake (possibly all in the case of the most strategic student), affects their approach to learning and, it can be argued, is an indication of which aspects of the course are valued most highly. Purposes of assessment It is easy to become so immersed in the job of coaching that we lose sight of the exact purpose of a particular element of assessment.
There is then the possibility that we are not achieving that purpose, or that we overlook another form of assessment which might be more appropriate. We actually assess students for quite a range of different reasons – motivation, creating learning opportunities, to give feedback (both to students and staff), to grade, and as a quality assurance mechanism (both for internal and external systems).
Because all too often we do not disentangle these functions of assessment, without having really thought it through, assessments are frequently trying to do all these things, to varying degrees. In fact can be argued that while it is desirable for assessments meeting the first three of these functions to be conducted as often as possible, the final two do not need to be done anywhere near so frequently; it is simply important that they are done somewhere.
The implications of this are that while an essay question, where all the answers are double marked and the marks count towards the students’ final grades, may fulfil all these functions, for all assessments to be this rigorous would be prohibitively expensive in staff time, while a peer-assessed seminar presentation, which does not count towards the students’ final grades but is simply a course requirement, could fulfil the first three functions and may not even require a tutor to be present.
1. 2 Define the key concepts and principles of assessment Consider whether assessment is -fair, reliable, valid, safe and manageable, suitable to the candidate needs.