The FCN EU Curriculum details each Lo in terms of Knowledge, Skills and Personal and Transversal Competences, as shown in the Figure below.
You should be aware of this fact and set up the assessment process in such way that the important information concerning the different components of the LO is taken into consideration in some way.
So, you have to select effectively the proper assessment methods, integrating them in such a way to be sure that each component of the LO has been assessed.
Selection of the assessment methods
The ASSESSMENT TABLE envisages 5 main types of assessment methods. Each of them is supposed to be more effective than other ones to assess specific “components of the competence” and to be coupled with specific learning strategies.
A number of theories, well-established practices and patterns have been formalized in traditional and recent literature concerning the most suitable learning strategies for specific objectives and the most suitable assessment methods to be put into place to assess the related learning outcomes; here is a very short list of hints drawing inspiration from them:
- the more complex the cognitive tasks are the more active, situated and contextualized should be the activities performed to master them; as well as these activities, assessment methods, aimed at demonstrating the mastery of the same learning outcomes, should be active, situated and contextualized;
- Learning Outcomes are defined through 3 main dimensions: Knowledge, Skills and Personal and Transversal Competences; each dimension can characterize the whole LO in different percentages, so sometimes a dimension can be prevalent or not present
- when “knowledge” (theoretical and factual) dimension is prevalent, the most proper learning strategy is usually a “traditional” lesson or the individual fruition of effective learning materials; especially in adult learning, when time for learning is particularly precious, the individual fruition of materials (in e-learning for example) is often preferred to other strategies; as to the assessment methods, traditional methods such as written exams or assignments or oral exams are preferred since they are effective and time saving;
- when “skills” dimension is prevalent, active practice is fundamental and learners should be involved in activities which foster them to put in practice the addressed skills; learning strategies such as learning-by-doing, problem-based learning, simulations, drill & practice and so on should be the proper strategy in this case; especially in FCN context, work based learning (WBL) is fundamental di develop practical skills; in a similar way, assessment methods should make the student put into practice the targeted skills in order to show if they are mastered or not, accordingly to the description of the Learning Outcome itself; the assessment of the activity performed during the WBL is fundamental to assess the skills of a student;
- when the “Personal and Transversal Competences” dimension is prevalent, learners should be actively involved in situated and contextualized activities, possibly in group, through collaborative or cooperative tasks; the learning strategy should provide a “scaffold” for the learner to play a specific role in an authentic context, possibly involving also informal or non-formal learning processes, fostering the sharing and internalizing of tacit knowledge; in the same way, an assessment method should foster the demonstration of these competences in a situated context; to this end, virtual environments (such as the Open Online Tool delivered by ENhANCE) could support the teacher in the design of situated contexts where both the learning and the assessment process can take place;
- when a competence is articulated in many dimensions (and this is what often happens), different strategies can be integrated in order to address the different components of the competence.
The FCN EU Curriculum describes each LO in terms of the above described different components; as to some LOs, such as LO28c, outlined in the above Figure, a prevalent component can be identified (the “skill” component is prevalent in this case), but many times LOs are complex and articulated and involve the 3 dimensions in the same way.
In order to choose the proper Assessment Methods we suggest to follow these steps:
STEP 1: analyse the description of the selected LOs in order to identify possible prevalent components;
STEP 2: check your choices in the Flexibility Tool as to the learning strategies: what are the strategies you selected? is WBL planned? etc.
STEP 3: fill-in the Assessment Scaffolding sheet of the Flexibility Tool
The Assessment Scaffolding sheet allows you to formalize the main assessment tools you would like to apply in your localized curriculum, by Modules and the related LOs.
Once provided the Modules names in the sheet “Plan Overview” and filled in the “Flexibility table” sheet, the “Assessment Scaffolding” sheet will show you automatically the distribution of the selected LOs by module.
Then for EACH LO, in the proper column, you have to list the assessment tools you would like to adopt for each of the methods you want to implement; the implemented methods should be compliant with the ones suggested in the Assessment Table
Once you’ve filled in the sheet with the tools, it will automatically show you the “relative weight/importance” provided to each method in the Module, by showing the relative percentage (% of total collected items).
The Methods envisaged by the Assessment table are the following:
- Written exam/assignments [WE]: this method is based on the use of traditional tools such as written tests or essays;
- Oral exam [OE]: this traditional method is based on a discussion or dissertation in which an examiner poses questions to the student in spoken form;
- Assessment of WBL [A-WBL]: it includes each procedure and tool which is used to assess the student when involved in WBL; the assessment can be done by the teacher, by the tutor of the WBL or by the student himself (self-assessment)
- Simulation/skill demonstration [SSK]: it includes a number of strategies and tools supporting the demonstration of a specific skill in a situated context;
- Assessment based on other data [OTH]: this category includes all the methods which not fall under the previous categories, such as the ones related to the use of ICTs (e.g. collection of tracking data and learning analytics) or innovative tools such as e-portfolios or specific functionalities of Virtual Environments (such as the Open Online Tool delivered by ENhANCE).
On the base of the results of STEP 1 and STEP 2, you can choose the proper assessment strategies and tools, trying to assure that each component of the LO will be assessed in the proper way.