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Unit Standard No.12164Page 14

In the past, assessment was based on measuring a person’s achievements against others being assessed. The most common way to assess an individual was by means of a written examination.

However, SAQA describes assessment as:

A structured process for gathering evidence and making judgments about an individual’s performance in relation to registered national standards and qualifications.

Therefore, assessment is a way of allowing individuals to prove that they are competent. Competence is the ability to transfer and apply knowledge and skills in the workplace.

Assessment allows an individual to prove that they have achieved the outcomes described in the unit standards. The process involves gathering information about the individual’s achievements.

Different types of evidence are collected, using a variety of assessment methods (for example workplace evidence, projects, presentations, case studies etc). The evidence is then assessed and recorded against the outcomes of the unit standard.

Judgments about an individual’s performance in relation to the unit standards (and not in relation to other learners) are made by a registered assessor (some-one who has proven himself/herself competent against the registered assessor unit standards). Assessors play a vital role in ensuring that quality is maintained.

There are four principles of good assessment which if followed, ensure credibility. They are

fairness (an assessment should not in any way hinder or advantage a learner, and the process should be clear, transparent and available to learners)

validity (which refers to measuring what is supposed to be measured; assessment should stay within the parameters of what is required)

reliability (ie. consistency. The same judgements should be made in similar contexts, each time an assessment is made for a specific purpose)

practicality (assessments should not be costly or resource intensive).

Instead of using the traditional test or exam approach, there are many different types of assessment instruments. Some are listed below:

Observation

Product

Evaluation

Questioning

Written/oral

INSTRUMENT

Alternative response questions

Assertion/reason questions

INSMAT final materials31/10/03

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