The role of evaluation and assessment is fundamental in the recognition, recording and monitoring of the theoretical and professional evaluation in meeting the planned learning outcomes of the programme. Students will receive constant guidance and feedback from tutors on both the practical professional and academic work while it is in progress, in both formative and summative assessments by adopting the continuous evaluation framework.
Cognitive skills are assessed using a wide variety of methods including time constrained coursework assignments and reflective reports. Written assignments will have clearly delineated word limits to encourage concision in the presentation of structured, well-supported argument and opinion. Cognitive skills will also be assessed by a mixture of written, oral and activity-based assignments as appropriate to the learning outcomes.
Knowledge and understanding is assessed via examinations (seen and unseen) and coursework assignments, including problem solving activities, simulations, oral presentations, individual and group reports, as well as more conventional written forms such as essays and other discursive assignments. In many of these modes of assessment students will be expected to demonstrate the connection between theoretical knowledge and understanding and its professional application. Assessment is a valuable tool in the development of research skills and as part of the learning process. The use of assessment in this context provides a valuable addition to the overall learning and teaching approaches.
Transferable skills are assessed through; the numerical manipulation required in modules requiring quantitative analysis; the written (or oral) presentation skills displayed in assignment work; the outcomes of team-work; practical activities set in the real work context; the conclusions and recommendations made in operational case-study reports, and in final year projects.
Assessment therefore takes on a problem-centred rather than merely a knowledge-based orientation. To prove competency means having to demonstrate the attainment of professional skills and attitudes, not just having to write about them. Secondly, assessment becomes not merely a means of judging knowledge and performance, but an integral part of the learning process itself. Consequently, the emergence of performance- based assessment suggests that assessment should be:
• Standards or criterion-referenced. Judging outcomes against these pre-defined standards.
• Direct and authentic, related directly to the work situation. This has the potential for motivating learning, since learners can see a direct relevance between what is learnt and what is assessed.