Improving the quality of assessment in VET
The Australian Government’s “Improving the quality of assessment in VET” agenda aims to identify reforms needed to improve the conduct of assessment in the Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector.
This has come about as a result of audits and strategic reviews undertaken by the Australian Skills and Quality Authority (ASQA) which identified that Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) train well but assess poorly. This is because whenever an RTO is found to be non-compliant at audit, assessment was always an issue. While there are many components to a quality VET assessment system, one key component is effectively managing the assessment process itself.
Enter the Learning Management System (LMS) Gradebook
One of the best ways to manage the assessment process is by using a Learning Management System (LMS) Gradebook. Interestingly, this is the case even if the training program isn’t an online course. The LMS Gradebook replicates a traditional gradebook or marks book, where there is a list of learners’ names down the left hand side, and along the top is all of the assessment activities that need to be assessed. The matrix in the middle is then populated by your learners’ work, their results and your feedback.
What’s so good about the LMS Gradebook?
There are many ways the LMS Gradebook can improve assessment processes, such as:
- All assessment information and criteria, together with the learner’s work, is all located in the one place, which you and your learners can access from anywhere and at any time.
- The Gradebook enables consistency and quality as all learners across a training program are given the same assessment information and criteria.
- Learners can provide comments about their work which the assessor can take into account when marking their work.
- As soon as you mark your learners’ work and provide them with feedback in the LMS, this information is automatically populated into the Gradebook, and the learner is notified by email that their work has been marked.
Using the LMS Gradebook means that you have a record of all your learners’ work (evidence), their results (your assessment judgement) and your feedback all in one place. This means you can easily access this information to:
- manage the assessment validation process
- know where learners are up to in case a trainer leaves (or wins lottery or becomes ill), or
- a learner disputes their results.
LMS Gradebook also helps improve assessment activities
As an LMS offers a range of individual and collaborative activity options that are linked to the Gradebook, you can draw upon a range of assessment methods such as:
- instant messaging
- groups activities: Database, Glossary and Wiki
- importing external / customised tools / objects.
The types of assessment activity options available will depend on which LMS you are using and whether your LMS has additional ‘plug-in’ options.
Most standard files types are accepted by an LMS Gradebook, so you can accept a range of evidence types such as images, audio and video.
And it can even help improve learner’s work while reducing cheating
On the World Wide Web, finding and copying information or accessing other learners’ work and using it as your own is very easy to do. By using the LMS Gradebook with anti-plagiarism software you can discourage cheating and plagiarism as learners’ work is checked upon uploading. This software can also encourage learners to review their work properly for any glaring blocks of text which could be viewed as plagiarised before submitting it.
Sound like what you need?
Contact eWorks to find out more.