How to develop an assessment instrument to gather knowledge evidence

Are you needing to develop an assessment instrument to gather knowledge evidence? The following is a 5-step process that can be used:

  • Step 1. Identify the knowledge evidence to be gathered
  • Step 2. Write questions to gather the knowledge evidence
  • Step 3. Write sample answers for each question
  • Step 4. Write instructions for your assessment instrument
  • Step 5. Trial the assessment instrument before implementing

Here is an example demonstrating how to use these five steps. The BSBPEF202 Plan and apply time management unit of competency has been used for the purposes of this example.

Step 1. Identify the knowledge evidence to be gathered

The knowledge evidence to be gathering is easy to identify. It is specified under the Knowledge Evidence heading in the Assessment Requirements for the unit of competency.

The required knowledge evidence specified for the BSBPEF202 Plan and apply time management unit of competency are:

  • time management techniques and strategies
  • features of a time management plan
  • organisational standards, policies and procedures relevant to own work role
  • relationship between own work goals and plans and organisation’s goals and plans
  • factors affecting work progress and performance improvement techniques.

Step 2. Write questions to gather the knowledge evidence

I recommend writing at least one question for each item of knowledge evidence. As a starting point for the BSBPEF202 Plan and apply time management unit of competency, plan to write at least five questions because there are five bullet points.

Questions are not the evidence. It is the answers are the evidence. A person can write their answers or give their answers verbally. The following table shows two approaches that can be used to get answers.

The above example shows how two questions have been used to gather knowledge for the fifth bullet point for the BSBPEF202 Plan and apply time management unit of competency.

Sometimes, one question is insufficient to gather the range or depth of knowledge required. This is often the case with knowledge evidence relating to workplace health and safety. Often, there may be sub-bullet points and each sub-bullet point requires a different question to gather the required knowledge.

Step 3. Write sample answers for each question

An RTO may have templates to be used when you develop assessment instruments. These templates may have been designed for providing sample answers for each questions. These answers may be in a ‘marking guide’ or an ‘assessment guide’.

You will need to write sample answers for each question being used to gather the knowledge evidence. This is important to help the RTO to comply with the ‘reliability’ principle of assessment.

Searching for the answers

  • Is a learning resource being used?
  • Is there a particular reference being used?
  • What to do if you don’t know the answers to the questions?

Is a learning resource being used?

An RTO may have decided to purchase a learning resource or develop their own learning resource. Align your assessment instrument to the content covered by the learning resource to avoid confusing your learners being assessed.

Is there a particular reference being used?

An RTO may have decided to use a particular reference. For example, a great reference for time management is Stephen Covey’s First Things First. A reference text may include time management techniques and strategies, features of a time management plan, etc.

Align your assessment instrument to the content covered by the reference text to avoid confusing your learners being assessed.

What to do if you don’t know the answers to the questions?

You will need to do some research if you don’t know the answers to the questions. Wikipedia can be a good way to start researching a topic.

An internet search may be required. For example, you will find that many people have published lists of time management techniques and strategies.

Sometimes, you may find it useful to search images. The following search result illustrates that a time management plan is typically a calendar with blocks of time allocate to perform tasks.

Sometimes your search of the internet will not provide the answer you are needing. There may be other useful and free resources available. For example, there is an Interpretation Manual for the BSB Business Services Training Package. The following is information that gives an interpretation for ‘time management techniques and strategies’ and ‘features of a time management plan’.

Unfortunately, the Interpretation Manual for the BSB Business Services Training Package does not provide an interpretation of everything. I wish it had given an interpretation for ‘organisational standards, policies and procedures relevant to own work role’.

Another possible document to check is the superseded unit of competency in the ‘old format’. These documents had range statements that may provide useful information. For example, the following are the range statements for BSBWOR202A Organise and complete daily work activities unit of competency (in the old format) had superseded the The required knowledge evidence specified for the BSBPEF202 Plan and apply time management unit of competency.

If the above range statement is unclear, please see the BSBWOR202A Organise and complete daily work activities unit of competency on the training.gov.au website and scroll down to Range Statement.

Sample answers

An assessment instrument for gathering knowledge evidence must have sample answers to the questions being asked. This supports an RTO’s compliance with the ‘reliability’ principle of assessment. Sample answers can be used by an assessor to judge if a candidate’s answer is satisfactory, or not.

The following is an example of sample answers for the BSBPEF202 Plan and apply time management unit of competency.

Sample answers for Question 1

In the above example, ten possible answers to the question are given although the question is only asking for three. This illustrates that a candidate’s answer may come from a wide range of possible answers. Therefore, an assessor needs to be given the range of possible answers. And sometimes, an answer may be given by the candidate that is not listed but are still acceptable. The assessor must exercise their fairness and flexibility in those situations.

Sample answers for Question 2

Sample answers for Question 3

Researching and writing answers to questions can be time consuming. I have not provided example answers for the following questions:

Question 4. Why it is important to have alignment between your own work goals and plans and organisation’s goals and plans? What are three (3) things you can do ensure that there is alignment?

Question 5. What are three (3) factors that affect work progress? Please briefly describe each factor.

Question 6. What are three (3) performance improvement techniques? Please briefly describe each technique.

Step 4. Write instructions for your assessment instrument

When developing an assessment instrument to gather knowledge evidence, you will need to:

  • Write questions
  • Write sample answers
  • Write instructions.

You must write instructions for the assessor and the candidate so that they know what needs to be done, and what is the expected standards for a satisfactory result.

Your RTO may have templates for you to use when developing assessment instruments.

Step 5. Trial the assessment instrument before implementing

Ask one or two of your work colleagues to help you trial the assessment instrument. Use this opportunity to identity what does not work so that these things can be fixed before the assessment instrument is implemented.

Are you a TAE40116 Student struggling with your studies?

Some people find the ‘TAEASS401 Plan assessment activities and processes’ or ‘TAEAS502 Design and develop assessment’ topics difficult.

If you are a TAE40116 Student, you will be required to develop several assessment instruments to gather knowledge evidence. My TAE Tutoring service has been designed to help you with your studies.

Do you want more information? Ring Alan Maguire on 0493 065 396 to discuss.

Contact now!

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Training trainers since 1986

Author: Alan Maguire

35+ years experience as a trainer, instructional designer, quality manager, project manager, program manager, RTO auditor, RTO manager and VET adviser.

4 thoughts on “How to develop an assessment instrument to gather knowledge evidence”

  1. I’m really enjoying this series of articles!

    You mentioned that each sub-bullet point in the list of knowledge evidence requires its own question to show you’ve gathered the required knowledge. I rarely see anyone mention sub-bullet points in knowledge evidence and find this is often a grey area. I’d love to know if there’s an official source that states this, as I’ve not been able to find one.

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    1. Anna, you have raised some valid points. The ‘sub-bullet points’ of Knowledge Evidence are a grey area. Sometimes, the ‘sub-bullet points’ seem to be the answers to a question relating to the ‘bullet point’. But sometimes, the ‘sub-bullet points’ seem to be a range of completely different things (for example, the ‘sub-bullet points’ relating to safety). The treatment of ‘sub-bullet points’ will vary, and there is no official source of information that will give us guidance. Each RTO will need to ensure that it can justify how it is explicitly gathering the depth and breath of knowledge specified by the Knowledge Evidence. The justification may be based on the RTO’s interpretation.

      Like

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