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Integrated Assessment of Applied Competence
Publishing Date: June 2014
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The focus of this book is to promote the use of integrated assessment, particularly in the post-school education and training system. The common practice of fragmented, over-assessment overburdens the learning and assessment process and increases the duration of learning programmes, as well as the time spent on doing the assignments and assessing the learner’s achievement. It also increases the cost of assessment and wastes money that should be more productively used for training.
What is covered in this book?
This publication describes the planning and design of the integrated assessment of a learning programme that is focused on assessing applied competence. It provides practical guidelines, examples and templates for the designers of learning programmes, curricula and assessments to make more use of integrated assessments. The processes described in this publication are derived from practical experience in designing assessments for outcomes-based programmes in a variety of contexts and is grounded in the theoretical underpinnings of integrated assessment espoused by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
Relevance to different assessment processes
The process described in the book is equally relevant for:
• Assessing a number of unit standards clustered together,
• Assessing a number of outcomes of one unit standard,
• Assessing a module, especially where a wide range of topics are covered in the module,
• Assessing one or more Exit Level Outcomes of qualifications that are not based on unit standards, and
• Even for assessing learning programmes that do not lead to credits on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), but that are designed to achieve clearly described outcomes for developing competence in job performance.
What benefits will readers gain?
The book will contribute to the overall improvement of assessment practices, especially by reducing the burden of assessment resulting from assessing fragmented units of learning in isolation. This will benefit a wide range of stakeholders:
• The learners, who will complete less assessments, but who will be assisted to develop applied competence through the integrated assessments;
• Assessors, who will have a reduced work load as well as assessment instruments that enable them to truly assess whether the learners have developed the required competence;
• Employers, through staff who have developed the competence required for work performance while taking less time out of work to complete assignments;
• ETQAs and everyone involved in quality assurance processes by reducing the administrative burden and having the confidence that the assessments are focused on the competence that the unit standards, qualifications and/or learning programmes were designed to develop; and
• The entire system, by using the time, energy and money spent on assessment more constructively and efficiently.