Developing Assessment Tools

Developing Assessment Tools

Teachers/assessors need a comprehensive suite of assessment tools in order to assess, record and validate their learner’s performance according to the requirements of the curriculum.  In developing effective assessment tools, a practitioner needs to have a thorough understanding of the unit/s they are assessing and the target learner group. This section of the guide outlines a suggested process to assist you to develop assessment tools.

The process involves a number of steps:

  1. Select the unit/s for which you are developing the assessment tool.
  2. Analyse the unit/s

Once the units to be delivered and assessed have been identified, careful analysis of the units must take place. Refer to Appendix 1 – Structure of a unit for an explanation of the key components of a unit. Try to envisage what a competent person would be able to do. In planning for delivery and assessment, consider these questions:

1. What is the unit about?Read the unit descriptor. This will give you a broad idea of the language focus and level your assessments will need to cover.
2a. What do learners need to demonstrate?2b. What is the required level of performance?2c. What else must I use to make a judgement of learner performance?Read the Elements and Performance Criteria of the unit. A learner needs to meet all the Elements to be assessed as competent in a unit. Your assessment tools must address the Performance Criteria, which outline the standard required to demonstrate achievement of the Element. These need to be contextualised and linked to the task.Refer also to the Required Skills and Knowledge of the unit.  This information informs the development of your assessment tool and guides you to make a judgement of learner performance.Check the Range Statement of the unit.  This outlines supplementary information in interpreting the Performance Criteria. 
3a. What do I need to assess and document?3b. What are the critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit?3c. What methods of assessment will enable the appropriate collection of evidence?
Refer to the Evidence Guide. This contains crucial information on assessment, such as the evidence required to demonstrate competence and the context in which assessment should take place. It also provides advice on appropriate methods of assessment which will provide you with guidance in formulating tools. This must be read in conjunction with the Elements, Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge and the Range Statement.
  1. Select resources / activities 
  2. Select methods of assessment

Steps 3 and 4 include making decisions about the activities to be undertaken, resources to be used in the assessment and methods of assessment to be used to collect the evidence required.

  1. Develop the assessment tools

The following components should be included:

  1. The context
  2. Information to be provided to the candidate: 
    • instructions, and information on what participants will be assessed on. These need to be explicitly explained so learners understand how and under what conditions they will be assessed.

Consider these points:

  • students must be informed as to the context, purpose and conditions of the assessment
  • a variety of assessment methods can be used to cater for various learning styles, for example, observation and self-assessment 
  • ensure the assessment is not introducing anything new
  1. Evidence to be collected
  2. Instructions to assessor on how to make a judgement 
  3. Materials/resources required
  4. Recording requirements:

Developing the recording tools – this includes the evidence-gathering documentation

In developing resources for recording assessment a teacher/assessor must ensure the following are included:

  • assessment date
  • student name
  • units/elements being assessed
  • knowledge/skills to be assessed
  • assessment methods used
  • evidence gathered
  • feedback provided result of assessment –  achieved or not yet competent, for example. Qualitative feedback should also be provided.
  • teacher/assessor name.
  1. Validate the tools

Validation of assessment tools is a quality review process. It involves checking that the assessment tools will produce the required evidence and that the requirements of the unit have been met.

The Competency Mapping Tool in Appendix 4 assists assessors with mapping the key components in their task to the unit/s of competency to demonstrate content validity. 

Consider the following:

  • review assessment to ensure it is:  valid (does it address the key performance criteria) and sufficient (does it allow the learner to demonstrate competence over time)