Key concepts of assessment, are the aspects involved throughout the assessment process. One of these key aspects is accountability. Assessment is accountable to all learners throughout the whole assessment process. Any learner should know why they are being assessed, and what they need to do to meet any assessment criteria. There is also accountability to award organisations, if the award is accredited, and to employers, if their staff are being assessed in any work environment for which they have responsibility.
Evaluation of the assessment process needs to take place, and feedback from all parties involved. This informs current, and future processes and aspects, of any assessment that takes place.
Another aspect involved throughout the assessment process is progression, when assessing what needs to be done next, and by whom it needs to be done by. The types of assessment, identified as Initial, Formative and Summative, as well as diagnostic assessment – which may identify the current knowledge of learners, and which may have additional assessment requirements.
Assessment activities must be fit for purpose, with decisions and feedback fit for purpose taking into account any prior learning identified at initial assessment, and fit-for-purpose with any planning decisions and feedback being justifiable and safe.
Principles of assessment are how the assessment process is put into practice. Assessments should be Sufficient, Current, Authentic, Reliable and Valid (SCARV). They should be fair and take into account confidentiality and be fit-for-purpose within any criteria set by an examining body. Within the context of SCARV, assessments should be valid with any process for assessment being appropriate for the assessment criteria that is being assessed.
All work should be relevant, sufficient and current, for the criteria to which it is being assessed. It needs to be authentic, with no doubt, as to the validity of it being the learner’s own work.
Any assessment should follow the principles of SCARV of being current, and up to date with examining bodies requirements, as well as the learner being up to date on current methods, skills and knowledge within their chosen professional area.
The aim of assessment is to track the progress and give constructive and informative feedback to learners. This helps improve a learner’s progress and inspires them to achieve. By gathering and recording of evidence from assessment, it can be measured against agreed objectives and criteria. It allows any measurable data to be use to track learner, group and overall organizational performance against specific learning domains.
Bandler and Grinder (1979) Psychomotor/Cognitive/Affective assessment of specific learning domains describes how the doing (Psychomotor), thinking (Cognitive), and feeling (Affective) are important elements in setting an optimal learning experience and having clear objectives within assessment.