Trial your assessment tools
1. Decide on your trialing approach
Students can make many valid interpretations of statements that you cannot anticipate. Open-ended questions require less testing, but still need checking.
It's permissible simply to get a colleague check your tools:
- the trained assessor who is supervising you
- other assessors in the same industry
- an assessment expert
- someone with expertise in the topic being assessed
- workplace supervisors (also counts as industry consultation)
- members of professional associations (also counts as industry consultation)
2. Test with people like students
Do you need to test with a sample group of people similar to your students to know how well they work? Some kinds of tools need testing much more than others. For example, multiple choice questionnaires look simple but are very difficult to write well and must be very thoroughly tested.
You need to know how people will perceive your questions and tasks, for example:
- Is it clear what you are actually asking?
- Do they mean to other people what you think they mean?
- Are questions in the best order for students to go through them most easily?
3. Analyse feedback
In the feedback, people might say:
"What do you mean by this sentence?"
"Could be more relevant to what we actually do here in the office."
"Didn't work on campus. But that's where we assess it."
"Oops, you got this fact wrong."
"We don't do it that way anymore. They brought out a new rule."
"Difficult to use."
"Good test, but it'd cost a fortune to use."
"Took a long time to do. Could you do it some way that takes less time? "
"The jargon confused lots of people."
"Do we really need all that paperwork?"
"I have someone who is very good but got stumped doing it in English."
"The deaf student just gave up in frustration."
4. Fix anything wrong before use.
If you have to make significant changes, then you should test it again.
5. File them properly.
When you've finished, file the tools according to the requirements of your RTO. Collate a copy of all training and assessment plans, assessment tools, and observation and assessment forms into the unit file. And make backups of the soft copies.