We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the UK-CCL team of professionals. We believe that you would find the new environment both challenging and enjoyable. We are aware that joining our group of professionals can be very demanding but be assured, that this will bring good rewards at the end. To achieve your firm objectives, UK-CCL will render any assistance always. We are conscious that there is much to learn about UK-CCL within a short period and hope that our Examiners and Assessor/Verifiers Information would be of assistance and motivate you. Other manuals would provide you with the necessary information that you may require to understand the vision of UK-CCL.
We are delighted to be your guide during your assessment period and will also be more than happy to support you with any day-to-day issues that may arise. Should you have any queries or encounter any difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time for we are ever ready to render assistance. We hope that you are availing our service of your own free will and understand that you will give us your full corporation in spreading our vision, which can elevate your organisation into becoming one that meets certain criteria and is of high standard.
In response to global requirement for accreditations, the UK Commission for Consistent Learning (UKCCL), has developed an assessment plan appropriate to the various scenarios. The assessment plan purports to introduce and instil among individuals and institutions the necessity to measure up to a set standard that is in accordance with international standards. Even thought the various regions dictate different approaches and divergence, yet there can be a concerted and uniform effort to have an assessment which is a set standard which is globally implemented and recognised Most importantly, the systematic data collection and analysis of information on a candidate’s continuing quest for educational excellence is questioned, examined and ratified, constantly.
The assessment plan must be developed by the UK-CCL RO with the regional Assessor/Verifier panel utilising the technology and facility available in the region and approved by UK-CCL. Only upon confirmation by the UK-CCL EBAV can the assessment plan be launched and implemented.
Brief Summary of Candidate Assessment Plan
UK-CCL EBAV has mapped out a strategy with four overlapping boundaries for assessment activities:
1) Assessment of candidate methodology of learning and ability of knowledge in their disciplines.
2) Review of candidate’s strength on Prior Lifelong Learning and Experiences
3) Collection, coordination, dissemination and use of institutional data generated by UK-CCL Assessor/Verifiers worldwide.
4) UK-CCL EBAV is determined to work collaboratively with Assessor/Verifiers to develop a learning outcome assessment plan. and to recognise the quality of service of UK-CCL ROs and, CCLVIs
a) To cultivate in candidates globally the aspiration for continued intellectual growth throughout their lives.
b) To equip candidates with skills of creative thought, technique, and critical analysis which will enable them to use knowledge effectively;
c) To acquaint candidates with the growing scope and substance of human thought;
d) To provide for approved training in the discipline of a chosen area of knowledge;
e) To foster candidates understanding of the creative process and to develop their appreciation of creative, original work;
f) To encourage candidates’ physical and mental well-being;
g) To expand candidate’s social awareness, social responsibility, and capacity for moral judgment to prepare them for intelligent and useful response to the present and future demands of society;
h) The UK-CCL-EBAV channels Assessor/Verifier information and provides flexibility to the UK-CCL Assessor/Verifiers working in the various regions.
i) UK-CCL publishes a quarterly magazine “GLOBALISED EDUCATION” to update changes in educational assessment techniques and other related issues in skills assessment.
The primary goal of UK-CCL for Assessor/Verifiers is that they should have enough experience and knowledge in their respective fields. There is a schedule for regular assessment programme reviews. Such programme reviews are an integral and ongoing feature of support for the Assessor/Verifiers. Originally stressing resources, the programme review process has become increasingly sensitive to academic outcomes.
The Assessor/Verifiers are constantly monitored and are mentored on a one to one basis. Assessor/Verifiers can call for support and assistance at any time. An Assessor/Verifier can rely on the guide in the pages following in the dispensation of his/her role. The Assessor/Verifier will need to focus on the goals deemed most necessary by the UK-CCL EBAV.
In the event of using the Internet in the classroom to support instruction, it is important that the area of assessment be addressed. A usable method for teachers is to provide a rubric for candidate’s use and for both formative and summary assessment purposes. All events and programmes include suggested methods of survey, using some combination of group interviews, individual interviews, and set priorities to assist the candidate in achieving the goals set in the assessment and to integrate these enhanced efforts into the existing process of programme review.
a) Agree on candidate’s mission
b) Create goals for candidate outcomes and processes
c) Identify related activities for each goal
d) Brainstorm appropriate measures
e) Evaluate and select measures
f) Identify appropriate assessment methods
g) Develop a plan for collecting data
h) Prioritise goals
i) Set timeline, milestones
j) Implement assessment plan
k) Use data to improve processes
l) Communicate results
When developing assessment programmes that measure candidates on strengths and weaknesses, UKCCL Assessor/Verifiers and event facilitators often ask; "Aren't learning programme grades a satisfactory measure of a candidate’s performance?" A learning programme grade is one source of information about a candidate’s achievement. But there are significant shortcomings for basing assessment of candidate learning solely on course grades. A traditional letter grade may suggest how much, and perhaps how well, individual candidates have learned in a learning programme, but the grades, either singly or in combination, do not necessarily reflect the success of the candidate in assimilating and garnering of knowledge in the context of the overall objectives of a particular major. Developing a programmespecific plan to meet assessment objectives is not an easy process. The following six-step approach has enabled many educational units to develop effective plans for assessing candidate learning in any given learning plan.
Define educational/programmatic goals and objectives for the major or programme.
UK-CCL RO Assessor/Verifier’s goals and objectives serve as the foundation for assessment planning. Programme assessment is intended to provide information on how well candidates are performing relative to the educational goals and objectives established by the teaching method. The defined goals and objectives should be far-reaching and describe a variety of skills and knowledge-based areas. In most instances, not all the goals and objectives can be adequately assessed for candidates’ achievement. However, assessment plans should be devised to assist trainers and event facilitators in determining whether candidates are acquiring the prescribed goals. Clearly, departmental goals for the major must ultimately be integrated with those of the UK-CCLVI, which in turn, must be aligned with the institutional mission statement.
Identify and describe instruments or methods for assessing candidate’s achievement at important stages in the programme.
Once educational goals and objectives have been identified, the assessment methods for collecting data can be chosen. These methods should be consistent with the programmatic objectives defined in the first step. Since UK-CCL often define a variety of educational goals and objectives, comprehensive assessment strategies frequently require the use of more than one assessment instrument to determine programme effectiveness.
Determine how the results will be disseminated and used for programme improvement.
Assessment results and information should be used in a timely fashion to facilitate continuous programmatic improvements. Designing a feedback process is essential in all assessment plans because it gives the trainer and facilitator the opportunity to use recent findings to incorporate curricular changes necessary to prepare candidates with the skills and knowledge to advance in their respective majors.
Develop a timetable for accomplishing the previous three steps. Each educational unit would need to establish a schedule for selecting, implementing, and using the results of assessment strategies.
To meet external demands for assessment implementation and to incorporate assessment into ongoing curricular planning, UK-CCLVI should devise appropriate timetables for development and execution of assessment programmes. The timetables should indicate when the UK-CCL RO foresees developing each of the previous three assessment planning steps.
Submit assessment objectives, methods, and timetable to UK-CCL-EBAV.
Each UK-CCL RO & UK-CCLVI will determine specific procedures for approval of departmental plans and subsequent reviews of assessment activities. Phases of the UK-CCL assessment plans should be carried out each academic year, regardless of the frequency with which UK-CCL RO officially review assessment activities. Departments should document all assessment activities and be prepared to demonstrate how information generated from assessment programmes has been used for curricular changes by the respective faculties.
Implementation of assessment plans and revises as needed.
Once the assessment plan has been approved by UK-CCL-EBAV, then the UK-CCL RO, UK-CCLVI and the UK-CCL Assessor/Verifier should implement assessment strategies. When initial programme feedback from assessment practices becomes available, departments should use the results for programmatic improvement or to revise objectives or plans, if necessary.
By following this six-step process, the complexities associated with developing effective and efficient assessment plans, especially for those devising assessment strategies for the first time, can be made less arduous and time consuming.
Institutional Research Support
UK-CCL RO Assessor/Verifier teams should set suitable formulae for the assessment in the local environment. The new formula would be a perfect combination of the Direct & Indirect Indicators of Assessment. Assessment procedures must be flexible and could be changed according to the needs of day to day needs. UK-CCL Assessor/Verifiers bringing innovative ideas to modify the assessing process are welcome with warm arms. Please send your proposal to admin@uk-ccl institute with hardcopy to UK-CCLEBAV.
Method of UK-CCL Approaches in Assessment
Direct Indicators of Assessment
1. Blended Learning Course Evaluation
Blended Learning courses integrate knowledge, concepts and skills associated with an entire sequence of learning in a programme. This method of assessment is unique because the courses themselves become the instruments for assessing candidate’s progress and learning. Evaluation of any candidate’s work in these courses is used as a means of assessing the candidate’s outcome. For academic units where a single Blended Learning course is not feasible or desirable, UK-CCLVI may designate a small group of courses where competency will be measured. Blended Learning courses provide candidates with a forum to combine various aspects of their programmatic experiences. UK-CCL RO or UK-CCLVI and UK-CCL Assessor/Verifiers provide a forum to assess candidate achievements in a variety of knowledge and skillsbased areas by integrating their educational experiences. These courses can also provide a final common experience for candidates in their discipline. Many research universities are currently using Blended Learning courses in a variety of academic disciplines including general education programmes and other academic units in Arts and Sciences. Departments at other research institutions use this instrument to gather information about a candidate’s learning in each major including many general education programmes.
2. Course-Embedded Assessment
Assessment practices embedded in academic courses generate information about what and how candidates are learning within the programme and classroom environment. Course-embedded assessment takes advantage of the already existing offerings by using standardised data collected by instructors or by introducing new assessment measures into courses. The embedded methods most commonly used involve the development and gathering of candidate data based on questions placed in course assignments. These questions, intended to assess candidate outcomes, are incorporated or embedded into final exams, research reports, and term papers in senior-level courses. Two or more faculty members will determine whether the candidates are achieving the prescribed educational goals and objectives and then evaluate the candidates ’ responses. This assessment is a separate process from that used by the course instructor to grade the exam, report, or term paper.
3. Tests and Examinations
In most cases, a test will be one part of a fully developed assessment plan. Tests are commonly used in association with cognitive goals to review candidates ’ achievements with respect to a common body of knowledge associated with a discipline or programme. UK-CCL RO or UK-CCLVI have traditionally used tests in assessment programming to measure whether candidates have acquired a certain process and content-related knowledge.
1) Locally developed / faculty generated tests and examinations,
2) Commercially produced standardised tests and examinations. Locally developed testing and examinations are probably the most widely used method for evaluating candidates’ progress. For assessing the validity of an academic programme, examinations designed by instructors who set the educational goals and teach the courses is often the best approach. Cost benefits, interpretation advantages, and quick turnaround time all make use of locally designed tests as an attractive method for assessing candidate learning.
Tests designed for a specific curriculum can often prove more valuable when assessing candidates ’ achievement than commercial instruments. These tests focus on the missions, goals, and objectives of the learning programme and permit useful projections of candidates ’ behaviour and learning. A wellconstructed and carefully administered test that is graded by two or more judges for the specific purpose of determining programme strengths and weaknesses remains one of the most popular instruments for assessing most majors.
4. Portfolio Evaluation
Portfolios used for assessment purposes are most commonly characterised by collections of candidates ’ work that exhibit to the faculty and the candidate as well , his/her progress and achievement in given areas. Included in the portfolio may be research papers and other process reports, multiple choice or essay examinations, self-evaluations, personal essays, journals, computational exercises and problems, case studies, audiotapes, videotapes, and short-answer quizzes. This information may be gathered from in-class or out-of-class assignments.
Information about the candidates' skills, knowledge, development, quality of writing, and critical thinking can be acquired through a comprehensive collection of work samples. A candidate’s portfolio can be assembled within a course or in a sequence of courses in the major. These will determine what information or candidates' products should be collected and how these products will be used to evaluate or assess the candidates ’ learning. These decisions are based on the academic unit's educational goals and objectives.
Portfolio evaluation is a useful assessment tool because it allows analysing an entire scope of candidate work in a timely fashion. Collecting candidate work over time gives the UK-CCL RO or the UK-CCLVI a unique opportunity to assess a candidates' progress in a variety of learning objectives. Using candidate portfolios also avails the ability to determine the content and control the quality of the assessed materials. Portfolios at research institutions are widely used and have been a part of candidate outcomes assessment for a long time.
5. Pre-test/Post-test Evaluation
Pre-test/post test assessment is a method used by academic units where locally developed tests and examinations are administered at the beginning and at the end of courses or academic programmes. These test results enable faculty to monitor candidate progression and learning throughout prescribed periods of time. The results are often useful for determining where skills and knowledge deficiencies exist and where they most frequently develop.
6. Thesis, Assignments, Dissertations Evaluation
A senior or graduate candidate Thesis, Assignments, Dissertations, Research Project, or Performance Paper that is structured by the UK-CCL Assessor/Verifier gives candidates an opportunity to demonstrate a mastery of an array of skills and knowledge appropriate to the major. This can be a useful assessment instrument. Thesis, Assignments, Dissertations evaluation has been used effectively for programme improvement in such disciplines as foreign languages, literature and the sciences.
7. Videotape and Audiotape Evaluation
Video and audiotapes have been used as a kind of pre-test/post-test assessment of candidates ’ skills and knowledge. Disciplines, such as theatre, music, art and communication which have had trouble in using some of the other assessment methods have had significant success in utilizing videotapes and audiotapes as assessment tools.
1. External Reviewers
Peer reviews of academic programmes are a widely-accepted method for assessing curricular sequences, course development, delivery and effectiveness. Using external reviewers is a useful way of analysing whether candidates ’ achievement correlates appropriately with UK-CCL goals and objectives. In numerous instances, recommendations initiated by skilled external reviewers have been instrumental in identifying programme strengths and weaknesses leading to substantial curricular and structural changes and improvements.
2. Candidate Surveying and Exit Interviewing
Candidate surveying and exit interviews have become increasingly important tools for understanding the educational needs of candidates. When combined with other assessment instruments, many UK-CCL RO and UK-CCLVI have successfully used surveys to produce important curricular and co-curricular information about candidates ’ learning and educational experiences. During this process, candidates are asked to reflect on what they have learned to generate information for programme improvement. Through this method, universities have reported gaining insight into what candidates experience in their courses; what they like and do not like about various instructional approaches; what is important about the classroom environment that facilitates or hinders learning and the nature of assignments that foster candidates ’ learning. In most cases, candidate surveys and exit interviews are conducted in random with several other assessment tools. In many universities where surveys have been adopted as a method of programme assessment, findings have resulted in academic and service programme enhancement throughout campus.
3. Alumni Surveying
Surveying of alumni is a useful assessment tool for generating data about candidates ’ preparation for professional work, programme satisfaction, and curriculum relevancy. As an assessment supplement, alumni surveying provides UK-CCL working group with a variety of information that can highlight programme areas that need to be expanded or enhanced. In most cases, alumni surveying is an inexpensive way to gather data and for re-establishing relationships with individuals who want to help the programme to continually improve.
4. Employer Surveying
Employer surveys can provide information about the curriculum, programmes and candidates that other forms of assessment cannot produce. Through surveys, departments traditionally seek employer satisfaction levels with the abilities and skills of recent graduates. Employers also assess programmatic characteristics by addressing the success of candidates in a continuously evolving job market. The advantages in using employer surveys include the ability to obtain external data that cannot be produced on campus, and the responses are often useful to help candidates discern the relevance of educational experiences and programmes.
5. Curriculum and Syllabus Analysis
In a perfect planning / implementation cycle, once a UK-CCLVI has defined its objectives, all phases of the curriculum and each individual course would almost automatically cover all the bases needed to provide each candidate the opportunity to learn the essential components of those objectives. However it doesn't happen that way because departmental personnel change over the years and the higher education tradition of freedom within the classroom often leaves course content almost totally to individual instructors. In any case, not every course needs to attempt to cover all the objectives for the major. As one technique to keep a focus on the agreed objectives, curriculum analysis provides a means to chart just which courses will cover specific objectives. Syllabus analysis is an especially useful technique when multiple sections of a UK-CCLVI course is offered by a variety of instructors. It provides assurance that each section will cover essential points without prescribing the specific teaching methods to be used in helping the candidates learn those objectives.
Outcome assessment is a valuable and integral part of programmatic improvement and review of professional learning programmes. It has the potential to impact candidates and members academically. As programmes are devised and incorporate assessment practices into on-going curricular structures, UKCCL Assessor/Verifiers will acquire useful information about candidates ’ learning that may support existing educational practices or demonstrate that necessary changes need to occur. For assessment plans to be effective, UK-CCL Assessor/Verifiers and UK-CCL RO in the region must work collaboratively to develop strategies that fit with the educational missions of UK-CCL. There are no simple approaches to developing effective and efficient assessment plans. Reliable assessment programmes often take years to perfect and to begin producing the type of results anticipated. It is hoped that the techniques outlined in this manual will be of assistance to implement a successful assessment programme.
Since 2001 several developments in UK higher education have encouraged assessment agencies to begin a revision of Qualification standards and to review the structure of the sections and to replace the original ‘precepts and guidance’ structure with a “precepts and explanation” approach. Assessment and Examination are part of the validation processes of academic and knowledge review. Assessment & Examination is an undertaking of a continuing engagement with candidates for the period of their learning plan.
Assessment & Examination is concerned with the standards laid out for tutors on delivering of on all learning programme with which academic reviewers are concern. Reviewers also scrutinise the effectiveness of the Assessment & Examination process in meeting the expectations contained in the precepts of this section. Reviewers will expect to see evidence of the institution's management of academic standards. This may involve in consideration of the setting of standards and the matching with achievements over a period of years. Assessment procedures will include looking at samples of candidate’s course work and assignment effectiveness.
Attention to course work must be paid major attention and if not satisfied there must be intervention in assessment procedures, re-marking of assessments or querying the judgements of examiners in respect of individual candidate marks or grades. The above precepts express key matters of principle that the higher education community has identified as important for the assurance of academic quality and standards and that which individual institutions should be able to demonstrate that they are addressing effectively through their own management and organisational processes.
The accompanying explanations are provided to help institutions to understand why the precepts are important. How an institution chooses to address the precepts is for it to determine itself, in the light of its own needs, traditions, culture, and decision-making processes. The UK system of higher education institutions are responsible for the quality of the education they provide and the academic standards of the awards they offer. The education providers’ main principal in maintaining nationally comparable standards within autonomous higher education institutions is that the external examiner is one of several independent and impartial advisers used by them. In addition to external examining, other means of assuring and enhancing quality and standards may include:
a) monitoring or review of programmes and modules/units on a regular (often annual) basis;
b) three or five - yearly reviews including contributions from external reviewers;
c) benchmarking programme as the outcomes for quality education.
Enhancing academic standards will vary, depending on individual mission, size, curriculum structures and other factors. There may be the use of external examiners to help monitor the academic standards of all awards, except those granted on an honorary basis. External examiners act as independent and impartial advisers providing institutions with informed comment on the standards set, and candidate achievement in relation to those standards. External examining is therefore an integral and essential part of institutional quality assurance. It is the responsibility of each institution to establish criteria and guidance for external examining that enable its academic standards to be benchmarked and maintained.
All curricula must be reviewed periodically by the academic board. This in-depth curricular review of programmes is required as part of the five -year graduate programme monitoring. The curricula are evaluated in terms of national standards and trends (the special responsibility of the carefully selected external reviewer) and establish the broad policies within which this review progresses.
Graduate curriculum offerings and programme requirements are monitored on a continuing basis by the faculty of the departments and programmes. Proposed changes are processed through college graduate learning committees and the Administrative Board of the Graduate School and are approved by the dean of the Graduate School. A statement of justification, course objectives, syllabus, and text(s) required, and a statement of new resources required offering the courses must accompany each new course request. Proposals to make major changes in existing courses must follow the same path outlined above, with similar supporting documentation. Minor course changes should be forwarded directly from the department or programme to the Dean of the Graduate School for approval.
a) That the primary focus of assessment is to encourage, direct and reinforce learning.
b) That assessment should continue to indicate achievement, maintain standards and provide reports.
c) That in making judgments about the assessment (including method, marking and feedback), emphasis should be placed on encouraging high quality learning.
d) That feedback is recognised as fundamental to the learning process.
e) That timely feedback is given on all items of progressive assessment.
f) That the current policy on candidate access to examination scripts be affirmed.
g) That the quantity of assessment, contributes toward a final result, be the minimum amount necessary to ensure a valid result.
h) That UK-CCL-EBAV establishes guidelines on the appropriate amount, mode and spread of assessment and viva.
i) That UK-CCL recognizes the needs of first year candidates in relation to progressive assessment, feedback and orientationto university assessment methods and standards.
j) That marks and grades be awarded by reference to predetermined standards rather than by reference to the performance of other candidates in the subject.
k) That each piece of assessment is accompanied by clear assessment criteria, which are effectively communicated to candidates and markers.
l) That subject coordinators consider carefully the way in which marks or grades are aggregated within a subject, with a view to ensuring that the validity of the final grade is not inadvertently compromised.
m) That UK-CCL Assessor/Verifiers are encouraged and make provision for all staff involved in teaching to undertake professional development in teaching, including assessment.
n) That UK-CCL-EBAV advises UK-CCL RO, UK-CCLVI and UK-CCL Assessor/Verifiers of the forms that such professional development should take.