Formative and summative assessment

Outcomes-based education and training uses formative and summative assessments:

  • Formative assessment: think of the word ‘information‘ – it refers to assessment that takes place throughout the process of learning and teaching to provide ongoing information about learner progress.
  • Summative assessment is assessment for making a sum (total) judgement about achievement. This is completed once learners are ready to be assessed at the end of a learning programme. Formative evidence will provide information for a summative judgement – so everything you do counts!

SETA accredited assessors may conduct assessment only on the qualifications they are certified for.

Training providers and learners must check the assessor credentials prior to them conducting assessment.

A combination of formative and summative assessments are used to develop evidence meeting the qualification unit standard requirements.

Learners must obtain the training providers assessment policy in order to ensure they understand the process and their rights.

The assessment policy will show how the provider deals with assessment disputes raised by learners.

Learner Workbooks

Learners are required to complete tasks in Workbooks in order to document their learning process.

They must submit completed Workbooks providing evidence of independent or group learning activities for each module.

These activities are referred to as Formative Assessment activities and are usually based on specific outcomes. Activities must meet and exceed assessment criteria outcomes.

Workbook activities help facilitators establish which areas learners experience difficulties with. Facilitators must be qualified to adapt and broaden an activity range.

These activities assist learners in constructing a portfolio of evidence to meet all established criteria. They monitor and  illustrate what was done in order to process the content and prepare for  Summative Activities.

‘Processing the content’ refers to how you made mistakes and corrected yourself,  how you started to understand the information and then explained it in your own words and terminology.

Formative activities provide information about your progress, your strengths and weaknesses. The Summative activities test your ability to apply the skills, knowledge and values.

Your Formative and Summative activities create your Portfolio of Evidence (PoE).

Your PoE is usually at least two lever arch files containing Formative, Summative and workplace evidence.

Training provider responsibilities

The training provider guides learners through the Formative and Summative activities. Workplace mentors and coaches assist with the workplace evidence.  Workplace evidence should show how learners began with simple tasks and activities and then developed to the stage of practically applying knowledge and skills, hopefully reflecting initiative and innovation.

Training providers assess these portfolios on a monthly basis and provide learners and employers with feedback regarding progress. This can be embarrassing if learners have been unfocused and poorly organised!

The training provider is required to be honest with employers about learner competencies and commitment; heads up, they’ll report you for misconduct or weak submissions.

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