Assessment 101

assessment

A simple Google search of the word ‘assessment’ presents a definition that reads, “the action of assessing someone or something”. Words similar to ‘assessment’ include evaluation, judgement and appraisal. As Accredited Skills Development Providers (SDPs) your intention is to ensure that all learners entering your learning programmes do so with the purpose of graduating successfully; sounds easy right?

The action of assessment is simple but not easy; however, the beauty of the process is that it is designed to measure the understanding of the learner and to address any weaknesses and misunderstandings. So, let’s declutter Phase 3: Assessment in order to find simplicity to enable us to manage the assessment process effectively and efficiently both for ourselves as Skills Development Providers (SDPs) as well as for our learners.

There are three types of assessment in the Accredited training landscape as outlined below:

  • Self-assessment is the process of your learners evaluating themselves periodically as they work through their Learner Guides in order for your learners to know and understand the extent of their own abilities and to improve upon them where/when necessary.
  • Formative assessments are on-going and continuous knowledge evaluations that are completed during class and are marked by the facilitator to check that the learner is learning.
  • Summative assessments are practical tasks or assignments completed in the workplace and are marked by the assessor to ensure that the learner can demonstrate applied knowledge.

What is significant to note when rolling out your training material, is that these assessments should be performed in sequence and should not just be given to the learners to complete as and when they feel they should. Have you considered that when your learners evaluate themselves, they feel that they have a sense of control and decision-making over their learning (to refresh on the benefits of this, refer back to our blog, ‘The Art of Facilitation’)?

If the learner is guided to complete their self-assessment prior to completing their formative assessment, this will allow the learner to identify any gaps within their own understanding. Next the learner should complete the formative assessments which will give the facilitator the opportunity to check that the learners are learning. It would be unwise to send the learners into the workplace to complete their practical assignments without first verifying that the learner understands the theory behind what they will be asked to put into practice. Finally, the summative assessments, these assessments will essentially determine whether or not the learner is capable, skilled and qualified in their chosen career path.

Need assistance with the assessment process, or any of the other steps in the Accredited Training Process?

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The Art of Facilitation

the art of facilitation

How many times have you experienced an engaging training session? You know, the kind where you couldn’t wait to return to the office to share your experience, the kind where you developed skills and knowledge because your facilitator was captivating? This week we decided to unpack the art of facilitation largely on account that the facilitation phase of your 4 Phases of Training can make or break you as a Skills Development Provider (SDP).

Before we get started though, let’s define the difference between training and facilitation. Training provides the theory and seeks to promote the retention of information whilst the process of facilitation is about encouraging the learner to think. In simple terms, training is about learning and facilitation is about thinking.

Daily, we work closely with SDPs and learners and we have identified that to become “interesting”, as facilitators we need to become “interested”. As facilitators, we must resist the temptation of falling into the trap of talking too much as opposed to encouraging our learners to think for themselves. We have composed the ABCs of Facilitation to assist you in being an effective facilitator:

  • A is for Action

Adult learners prosper through direct experience and whilst it’s tempting to want to deliver as much information as possible during theory training (we are after all subject matter experts), this can actually be counterproductive and could hamper learning. Adults learn best when they are able to relate new knowledge and information to experience. Top tip: include and encourage active and practical participation amongst your learners. The Learning is in the doing!

  • B is for Benefit

Adult learners need to understand and appreciate the purpose of your learning intervention in order to be enthusiastic about absorbing information. Adult learners require functional, goal-oriented, and problem-centred learning that can assist them to function both in their personal and work capacities. Top tip: during learner induction, engage with your learners in order to guide them into making the connection between their needs and your learning content.

  • C is for Collaboration

Adult learners thrive in an environment in which they have a sense of control and decision-making over their learning. Top tip: engage with your learners to establish what they want to learn. This should be done during Learner Induction and it should be noted that learners are more receptive to learning when they establish specific learning objectives for themselves.

Need advice and practical assistance with the Art of Facilitation?

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SETA Monitoring Visits

seta monitoring visit

With the end of the year fast approaching, the time has come to clean out the closet, put stuff in order and get ready for the New Year. As a Skills Development Provider (SDP), you may have already received communique from your SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) regarding requesting an extension on your SETA Accreditation (many expiring in March 2020). For countless SDPs, the action of requesting an extension on Accreditation is a fairly straightforward process; however, how many SDPs have researched the next step in the process? Re-accreditation is not a right nor an automatic process.

The majority of the SETAs will issue you, as an SDP, a monitoring visit before they approve the extension on your Accreditation. A monitoring visit is to determine whether or not you have performed against and complied with your accreditation requirements (namely; facilitated, assessed, moderated and applied for external moderation activity at least once during your Accreditation cycle).

Below are just a few things that would be helpful to consider in order to prepare for your monitoring visit:

  1. Your Quality Management System (QMS) Review:
    In accordance with your QMS, “The Quality Management System is continuously evolving, and a major formal evaluation will be done every year by the Review Committee, to ensure the implementation and relevancy of the systems in use.”. It is important to note that a major part of your QMS Review is ensuring that you have well documented minutes that cover all Policies and Procedures.
  2. Data on delivery, assessment and certification:
    You are expected to be able to communicate statistics regarding how many learners you have trained, assessed, terminated as well as results etcetera to your SETA Verifier at your monitoring visit. This will require calculation prior to the monitoring visit as this information should be ready to be validated on site. Do you currently have a Learner Management Information System (LMIS) and is this up to date?
  3. You can navigate your way around your Accreditation File:
    Often, SDPs submit comprehensive files as part of their Accreditation application process which generally get overlooked once they receive their Accreditation Reports. At your monitoring visit, your SETA Verifier will ask your for specific documents from your Accreditation File, do you know how to locate these and are they up to date?

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