115755 Design and develop outcomes-based assessments

http://regqs.saqa.org.za/showUnitStandard.php?id=115755

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD
This unit standard is for people who design and develop assessments to facilitate consistent, credible, reliable, fair, and unbiased assessments of learning outcomes. The outcomes may be defined in a range of documents including but not limited to unit standards, exit level outcomes, assessment standards, curriculum statements and qualifications. This unit standard will contribute towards the achievement of a variety of qualifications particularly within the field of Education Training and Development Practices and Human Resource Development.

In particular, people credited with this unit standard are able to:
Demonstrate understanding of design principles of outcomes-based assessment,
Design outcomes-based assessments,
Develop assessment activities,
Develop assessment guides, and
Evaluate assessment designs and guides.

LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING
The credit calculation is based on the assumption that those entering programmes to learn towards this unit standard:
Have already achieved unit standard NLRD 115753: Conduct outcomes-based assessment, or equivalent,
Are competent in the relevant field in which they are designing assessments, or have access to subject matter experts, and
Are able to analyse and interpret the relevant outcomes (or standards).

UNIT STANDARD RANGE
1. This is a generic assessment unit standard, and candidates can design and develop assessments within any field of learning in line with their subject matter expertise. For the purposes of assessment of this assessment design unit standard, candidates should have access to the relevant outcomes for which assessments will be designed. However, the assessment of candidate-designers will only be valid for award of this unit standard if the following requirements are met:

> The credit value for the assessment/s designed is worth 8 credits (or the equivalent of 8 credits). This means the candidate can design an assessment for a single outcome worth 8 credits or more, or for a number of smaller outcomes collectively worth 8 credits.
The outcome/s selected for design of assessments require assessment in relation to significant, meaningful and coherent outcome statements that include assessment criteria and allow for judgements of competence in line with SAQA’s definition of competence i.e. embraces foundational, practical and reflexive dimensions of competence. As a general guide, the outcomes selected should carry at least 4 credits each or the equivalent. Single-task assessments will not be valid for awarding this unit standard. Outcomes that are highly task-orientated and do not demand much, if any, in the way of reflexive competence, will not be sufficient for measuring competence as an assessment designer in terms of this unit standard. Thus candidate-designers should select outcomes that enable them to meet the requirement laid out here.
At least three assessment activities are designed in detail, illustrating the use of three different assessment methods.
Candidates produce evidence that they can design assessments in RPL situations and for candidates who may have fairly recently acquired the necessary knowledge and skills through courses or learning programmes.

2. For the purposes of assessment against this unit standard, candidates should have access to organisational assessment policies, procedures and systems (including moderation). It is assumed the organisational policies and procedures are of a quality sufficient for accreditation purposes. Where such policies and procedures are not yet available, the provider may make general policies and procedures available for the purposes of this assessment.

Further range statements are provided in the body of the unit standard where they apply to particular specific outcomes or assessment criteria.

Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria:

SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1
Demonstrate understanding of design principles of outcomes-based assessment.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1
Comparisons between outcomes-based design and another form of assessment design highlight key differences in terms of the underlying philosophies and approaches to assessment, including an outline of advantages and disadvantages.
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE
Similarities and differences include assessment methodology, advantages to learners, employers and institutions, impact on learners and assessors, and means of reporting results.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2
Key differences are identified in the approach to designing assessments for RPL-candidates and for programme-based assessments.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3
Different assessment methods are described and justified in relation to particular contexts, and their advantage over other possible options.
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE
The description of methods should cover situations for gathering evidence of abilities in problem solving, comprehension, analysis and synthesis, evaluation, practical and technical skills, attitudinal skills and values.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4
Key principles of assessment are described and illustrated in terms of their impact on assessment design, and ultimately assessment practice and results.
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE
See “Definition of Terms” for a definition of principles of good assessment principles.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5
Scenarios are provided to illustrate the manner in which questioning approaches impact on the validity of assessments.
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE
Open versus closed questions, leading questions, probing questions

SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2
Design outcomes-based assessments.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1
The design addresses the need for cost-effectiveness and takes into account the overall assessment plan, results of previous assessments, special needs of candidates, assessment contexts, and where applicable, the accessibility and safety of the environment and contingencies.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2
Assessment activities, instruments and resources selected are appropriate to the outcomes to be assessed and the assessment candidates, and have the potential to enable the collection of valid and sufficient evidence. The design accommodates the possibility of RPL.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3
Potential unfair barriers to achievement by candidates are identified and the design addresses such barriers without compromising the validity of the assessment or possibilities for continued learning.
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE
Unfair barriers could relate to issues such as language or disabilities.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4
The design ensures holistic, integrated and comprehensive assessment using a range of potential sources and types of evidence.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5
Opportunities for gathering naturally-occurring evidence are identified and planned whenever possible, so as to improve assessment efficiency and match assessment conditions to real performance conditions where applicable.
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE
Naturally-occurring evidence refers to evidence gathered during the normal course of learning or work.

SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3
Develop assessment activities.
OUTCOME RANGE
Candidates are to provide evidence for the development of activities that assess:
Psychomotor skills: through methods such as observation of naturally occurring evidence, simulations, skills tests, assessment of products.
Cognitive skills: through methods such as fixed and open response, written and oral items.
Affective skills (value and attitudinal orientation): such as through observation of behaviour.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1
The activities facilitate the production of valid, sufficient, authentic and current evidence, matching the requirements of the given outcome statement/s.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2
Activities promote integrated assessment as far as possible and enable combinations of outcomes to be assessed simultaneously where possible.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3
The activities are appropriate, fair and manageable, and are consistent with the defined purpose of the assessment, including the possibility of RPL.
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE
See “Definition of Terms” for a definition of appropriate, fair and manageable.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4
Communication intended for candidates is appropriate to the candidates and assessment context, and provides clear direction without influencing candidates towards particular responses.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5
The activities are described in sufficient detail to facilitate effective and efficient assessments, but with sufficient opportunities for assessors to adapt and contextualise the activities as required within the assessment context. Where appropriate, guidance is provided for contextualising the activities.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6
Activities meet cost and time requirements and any other constraints within the assessment context.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7
Time allocated for the activities is realistic, can be justified in terms of the requirements of the outcomes and is sufficient for the nature of the performances being assessed.

SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4
Develop assessment guides.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1
Guides contain all the details needed by assessors to conduct assessments in line with defined assessment principles.
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE
Details concerning at least: the approach to assessment, outcomes to be assessed; types and quality of evidence to be collected (including cognitive, affective and psychomotor); assessment methods to be used; resources required; conditions of assessment; timing of assessment; time-limits where applicable, sequence and schedules of activities; accountabilities; deadlines; relevant standard operating procedures where applicable; administrative procedures; moderation arrangements; instructions to assessors, candidates, and support personnel.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2
The guide provides clear details of the assessment activities in line with the assessment design, so as to facilitate fair, reliable and consistent assessments by assessors. The activities are presented in a form that allows for efficient communication of requirements.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3
The structure of the guide promotes efficient and effective assessment. It further facilitates the recording of data before, during and after the assessment for purposes of record keeping, assessment judgements and moderation of assessment.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4
The guide includes all support material and/or references to support material, including observations sheets, checklists, possible or required sources of evidence and guidance on expected quality of evidence including exemplars, memoranda or rubrics as applicable.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5
The guide makes provision for review of the assessment design, and is presented in a format consistent with organisational quality assurance requirements.

SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5
Evaluate assessment designs and guides.
OUTCOME RANGE
Candidates to provide evidence of the ability to identify and make recommendations on strengths and weaknesses of assessment guides.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1
Methods are appropriate and sufficient to evaluate the quality of the assessment design and guides in relation to good assessment principles and the intention of the assessment reflected in the standards.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2
The evaluation results are described and justified in terms of the principles of good assessment and based on evidence from a variety of sources, including empirical data, moderation findings and stakeholder feedback.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3
Recommendations contribute towards the improvement of assessment design and guides to facilitate assessments in line with the requirements of the given outcome statements and the purposes of the assessment.

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4
The evaluation is carried out in line with quality assurance requirements, including moderation requirements, and contributes towards enhancing the credibility and integrity of the recognition system.

UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS
A candidate-designer wishing to be assessed, against this unit standard may apply to an assessment agency, assessor or provider institution accredited by the relevant ETQA.
Anyone assessing a candidate-designer against this unit standard must meet the assessor requirements of the relevant ETQA. In particular, such assessors must demonstrate that they assess in terms of the scope and context defined in all the range statements.
Any institution offering learning towards this unit standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA.
External moderation of assessment will be conducted by the relevant ETQA at its discretion.

UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE
The following knowledge is embedded within the unit standard, and will be assessed directly or indirectly through assessment of the specific outcomes in terms of the assessment criteria:
Outcomes-based education, training and development – underpins understanding of outcomes-based assessment
Principles of assessment – directly assessed through assessment criterion ‘Key principles of assessment are described and illustrated in terms of their impact on assessment design, and ultimately assessment practice and results.’, and indirectly assessed via a requirement to apply the principles throughout the standard.
Principles and practices of RPL – directly assessed through assessment criteria ‘Key differences are identified in the approach to designing assessments for RPL-candidates and for programme-based assessments.’, ‘Assessment activities, instruments and resources selected are appropriate to the outcomes to be assessed and the assessment candidates, and have the potential to enable the collection of valid and sufficient evidence. The design accommodates the possibility of RPL.’ and ‘The activities are appropriate, fair and manageable, and are consistent with the defined purpose of the assessment, including the possibility of RPL.’, as well as through application in the rest of the standard.
Methods of assessment – directly assessed through assessment criterion ‘Different assessment methods are described and justified in relation to particular contexts, and their advantage over other possible options.’, and indirectly assessed through application of the methods when designing activities, Specific outcome ‘Develop assessment activities’.
Potential barriers to assessment – assessed when dealing with special needs.
The principles and mechanisms of the NQF – this knowledge underpins the standard
Assessment policies and ETQA requirements
Moderation requirements

UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME
N/A

UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES
N/A

Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO):

UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING
Identify and solve problems using critical and creative thinking: planning for contingencies, candidates with special needs, problems that could arise during assessment, suggesting changes to assessment following evaluation of the design.

UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING
Organize and manage oneself and ones activities: planning the assessment, assessment activities and assessment guide.

UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING
Collect, analyse, organize and critically evaluate information: determine evidence requirements and sources, evaluate the quality of assessment guides.

UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING
Communicate effectively: communicate all assessment requirements and processes in writing.

UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING
Demonstrate the world as a set of related systems: understanding the impact of assessment on individuals and organisations.

UNIT STANDARD CCFO CONTRIBUTING
Be culturally and aesthetically sensitive across a range of social contexts: plan and design assessments in a culturally sensitive manner.

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