Assessment Policy and procedure
- To ensure that assessment methodology is valid, reliable and does not disadvantage or advantage any group of learners or individuals
- To ensure that the assessment procedure is open, fair and free from bias and to national standards
- To ensure that there is an accurate and detailed recording of assessment decisions.
In order to do this, London Bridge College will:
- ensure that learners are provided with assignments that are fit for purpose, to enable them to produce appropriate evidence for assessment
- produce a clear and accurate assessment plan at the start of the programme
- provide clear, published dates for the handout of assignments and deadlines for assessment
- assess learner’s evidence using only the published assessment and grading criteria
- ensure that assessment decisions are impartial, valid and reliable
- develop assessment procedures that will minimise the opportunity for malpractice
- maintain accurate and detailed records of assessment decisions
- maintain a robust and rigorous internal verification procedure
- provide samples for standards verification as required by the awarding organisation
- monitor standards verification reports and undertake any remedial action required
- share good assessment practice between all BTEC programme teams
- ensure that BTEC assessment methodology and the role of the assessor are understood by all BTEC staff
- provide resources to ensure that assessment can be performed accurately and appropriately.
- Learner induction: should inform learners about all aspects of assessment and progress monitoring. Reference should be made to national standards, assessment deadlines, the need for authentic work, and learner appeals
- Assignment design: should have a practical vocational focus and reference the unit grading criteria. A variety of assessment methods is encouraged. A schedule of assignments and assessment dates should be planned and monitored during delivery of the programme
BTEC Centre Guide to Internal Assessment: Valuable resources for centres in planning, quality assuring and delivering BTEC programmes
All London Bridge College BTEC programmes consist of internally assessed units, and therefore are subject to external standards verification. This means that The College set and assess the assignments that provide the final summative assessment for each unit; these are designed by our instructional designers, and agreed by the Lead IV for each sector.
In line with the requirements and guidance for internal assessment, the college selects the most appropriate assessment styles according to the learning set out in the unit. This ensures that learners are assessed using a variety of styles to help them develop a broad range of transferable skills. As part of the College’s assignment briefs, learners could be given opportunities to:
- Carry out practical tasks
- Present information that they have gathered
- Keep working logbooks or reflective journals
- Take part in written or oral presentations
- Prepare products such as leaflets, booklets or training materials
- Completion of worksheets
- Responding to case studies
- Write short essays or extended pieces of writing
- Undertake research
- Write evaluations
Language of Assessment
Assessment at London Bridge College is only available in English. All learner work must be in English. A learner taking the qualifications may be assessed in British sign language where it is permitted for the purpose of reasonable adjustment.
Assessment through assignments
All London Bridge College BTECs are assessed via assignments. It is essential that these assignments are taken after the content of the unit or part of the unit, has been delivered. As learning is delivered online, the learners are required to complete the readings, videos and tasks that support and underpin the assignments prior to starting work on completing them.
An assignment may take a variety of forms, including practical and written types and can be split into tasks. An assignment is a distinct activity completed independently by learners that is separate from teaching, practice, exploration and other activities that learners complete with direction from, and formative assessment within the VLE.
The Assignments are pre-loaded into the VLE, and can be accessed by learners once they have completed the learning materials related to the unit. For each assignment, there is a clear assignment brief provide din a PDF downloadable format. In addition, the assignment is available within the VLE, with online fields and submission of each task.
Assignments are usually divided into tasks and may require several forms of evidence. A valid assignment will enable a clear and formal assessment outcome based on the assessment criteria stated for the unit. The assessment criteria alone will form the basis on which the assessor makes a decision on the outcome of the assessment.
Assessment decisions through applying unit-based criteria
Assessment decisions for BTEC are based on the specific criteria given in each unit and for some qualifications that London Bridge College offer, these are include a grade level; pass, merit or distinction.
For graded qualifications: The assessment criteria for a unit are hierarchical and holistic. For example, if a Merit criterion requires the learner to ‘describe’ and the related P criterion requires the learner to ‘outline’, then to satisfy the M criterion a learner will need to cover both ‘outline’ and ‘describe’. The unit assessment grid shows the relationships of the criteria so that assessors can apply all the criteria to the learner’s evidence at the same time.
Assessors must show how they have reached their decisions using the criteria in the assessment records. When a learner has completed all the assessment for a unit then the assessment team will give a grade for the unit. This is given according to the highest level for which the learner is judged to have met all the criteria
For non graded qualifications: the Assessors will clearly state which criteria have or have not been met. In all cases a clear rationale for the award of criteria or grades will be clearly recorded on learner feedback.
The assessment team
It is important that there is an effective team for internal assessment. There are three key roles involved in implementing assessment processes at London Bridge College, each with different interrelated responsibilities, the roles are listed below.
The Lead IV: has responsibility for the programme across all sectors delivered in their centre. The Lead IV ensures the record keeping, assessment and internal verification meet our requirements and liaise with our Standards Verifier. The Lead IV registers with Pearson annually. The Lead IV acts as an assessor, supports the rest of the assessment team, makes sure that they have the information they need about our assessment requirements and organises training, making use of our guidance and support materials.
Internal Verifiers( IVs): oversee all assessment activity in consultation with the Lead IV. They check that assignments and assessment decisions are valid and that they meet Pearson requirements. IVs will be standardised by working with the Lead IV. Normally, IVs are also assessors but they do not verify their own assessments.
Assessors: .Before taking any assessment decisions, assessors participate in standardisation activities led by the Lead IV. At London Bridge College, this is online. Assessors are required to achieve a 90% pass for standardisation activities, before being able to undertake live assessments. This must be repeated annually with new standardisation materials. This mirrors how Pearson standardise their SVs.
To ensure that we provide effective assessment for your learners, it is essential that learners understand their responsibilities for assessment and the college’s arrangements for assessment.
From induction onwards, we work hard to ensure that learners are motivated to work consistently and independently to achieve the requirements of the qualifications. Learners are supported to understand how assignments are used, the importance of meeting assignment deadlines, and that all the work submitted for assessment must be their own.
London Bridge College have a learner handbook, which provides learners with a guide that explains how assignments are used for assessment, how assignments relate to the teaching programme, and how they should use and reference source materials, including what would constitute plagiarism.
The instructional designers working on each course are responsible for the development of assignment briefs. The instructional designers are teachers, trainers and assessors. When developing assignments, London Bridge College utilise the guidance given in the Essential information for tutors section of a unit, within the Pearson Specification. This provides information on assessment decisions, with suggested scenarios for assessments. When designing assignment briefs designers consider the following:
- The assignment may be broken into tasks, and multiple assignments, or created as a whole
- A learning aim must always be assessed as a whole and must not be split into two or more tasks.
- The assignment must be targeted to the learning aims but the learning aims and their associated criteria are not tasks in themselves.
- Criteria are expressed in terms of the outcome shown in the evidence.
- For graded qualifications; Assignments must be structured to allow learners to demonstrate the full range of achievement at all grade levels.
- For graded qualifications; Learners need to be treated fairly by being given the opportunity to achieve a higher grade if they have the ability.
- Assignments provide a final assessment, they will draw on the specified range of teaching content for the learning aims. The specified teaching content is compulsory. The evidence for assessment need not cover every aspect of the teaching content, as learners will normally be given particular examples, case studies or contexts in their assignments.
Providing an assignment brief
A good assignment brief is one that, through providing challenging and realistic tasks, motivates learners to provide appropriate evidence of their ability.
An assignment brief must have:
- A vocational scenario or context, this could be a simple situation or a full, detailed set of vocational requirements that motivates the learner to apply their learning through the assignment
- Clear instructions to the learner about what they are required to do, normally that could be set out through a series of tasks
- An audience or purpose for which the evidence is being provided.
The form(s) of evidence selected must:
- Allow the learner to provide all the evidence required for the learning aim(s) and the associated assessment criteria at all grade levels (where relevant)
- Allow the learner to produce evidence that is their own independent work
- Allow a verifier to independently reassess the learner to check the assessor’s decisions.
Making valid assessment decisions
Assessors are assigned to learners once the learners have enrolled onto a course. The assessor will usually assess all units of the qualification for their allocated learners. It is the assessors responsibility to make valid assessment decisions, and to provide a clear justification of their decisions to the learner along with appropriate and developmental feedback.
When making assessment decisions, assessors must consider:
- Authenticity of learner work
- Once an assessment has begun, learners should not be given feedback on progress towards fulfilling the targeted criteria. Assessors can provide support to enable learners to understand the task or requirements of completing their work
- An assessor must assess only learner work that is authentic, i.e. learners’ own independent work. Learners must authenticate the evidence that they provide for assessment through signing a declaration stating that it is their own work.
- Assessors must ensure that evidence is authentic to a learner through setting valid assignments and supervising them during the assessment period. Assessors must take care not to provide direct input, instructions or specific feedback that may compromise authenticity.
Assessors must complete a declaration that:
the evidence submitted for each assignment is the learner’s own
- the learner has clearly referenced any sources used in the work
- they understand that false declaration is a form of malpractice.
- This declaration is built into the Moodle feedback form and must be completed before submitting feedback to learners
Assessors must ensure that:
- During assessment, an assessor may suspect that some or all of the evidence from a learner is not authentic. The assessor must then take appropriate action using the London Bridge College plagiarism and student malpractice policy
- Assessment decisions are made using only the specified criteria
- The evidence from a learner can be judged using all the relevant criteria at the same time. The assessor needs to make a judgement against each criterion that evidence is present and sufficiently comprehensive.
Issuing assessment decisions and feedback
- Clear feedback to learners stating which criteria have and have not been met must be recorded
- The rational (reason) for awarding the specific criteria must be recorded
- For non-graded qualifications; assessors should provide a clear action plan for any criteria which have not been met, specifying what the learner should do to address the missing criteria
- For graded qualifications, the assessor should simply state the criteria not met and refer the learner back to the unit guidance, in this case a resubmission must be agreed by the Lead IV for the sector. The Assessor should contact the Centre Manager who will arrange for the LIV review to take place
For graded qualifications:
- An assignment provides the final assessment for the relevant learning aims and is normally a final assessment decision, except where the Lead IV approves one opportunity to resubmit improved evidence based on the completed assignment brief.
- The Lead IV has the responsibility to make sure that resubmission is operated fairly. This means:
- Checking that a learner can be reasonably expected to perform better through a second submission,
- Making sure that giving a further opportunity can be done in such a way that it does not give an unfair advantage over other learners
- Checking that the assessor considers that the learner will be able to provide improved evidence without further guidance and that the original evidence submitted remains valid.
- Once an assessment decision has been given to the learner, the resubmission opportunity must have a deadline within 15 working days in the same academic year.
A resubmission opportunity must not be provided where learners:
- Have not completed the assignment by the deadline (where there is one, and without an extension agreement)
- A learner who has not achieved the level of performance required to pass the relevant learning aims after resubmission of an assignment may be offered a single retake opportunity using a new assignment.
- The retake may only be achieved at a pass.
- The Lead Internal Verifier must only authorise a retake of an assignment in exceptional circumstances where they believe it is necessary, appropriate and fair to do so.
Some definition of Terms used in Assessment Criteria:
|Accurate||Perform processes and procedures without error.|
|Collaborate||Work jointly with others.|
|Competent||Having the necessary knowledge or skill to do something suitably or sufficiently in amount or extent.|
|Comprehensive||Full, covering a range of factors.|
|Confident||Demonstrate secure application of skills or processes.|
|Consistent||Able to reliably repeat an action that progresses towards achieving an aim.|
|Creative||Using techniques, equipment and processes to express ideas or feelings in new ways.|
|Demonstrate||Carry out and apply knowledge, understanding and/or skills in a practical situation.|
|Describe||Give a clear account that includes all the relevant features and characteristics – ‘painting a picture with words’.|
|Effective||Show control over techniques, equipment and processes to efficiently meet the details and broad aims of a requirement.|
|Explain||Work shows clear details and gives reasons and/or evidence to support an opinion, view or argument. Learners can show comprehension of origins, functions and objectives of a subject and its suitability for purpose.|
|Identify||Indicate the main features or purpose of something by recognising it and/or being able to discern and understand facts or qualities.|
|Insightful||Being perceptive and discerning.|
|Outline||Learners’ work, performance or practice provides a summary or overview or a brief description.|
|Reflect||Think carefully and review information and/or performance – includes articulating ideas, concepts, activities, findings or features.|
|Review||Assess formally, appraising existing information or prior events with the intention of instituting change if necessary.|
Last update: September 2020, Review: August 2021