Knowing when to gather knowledge evidence for assessments can be tricky. Have you ever found yourself looking at a qualification specification and wondering what it’s asking for?

Well, don’t worry. TQUK has your back!

This blog contains everything you need to know about gathering knowledge evidence from your learners. We’ll take you through the different forms of knowledge evidence so that you can know how to authenticate evidence and how you can use certain types of assessments to gather knowledge evidence. Then we will outline some common challenges centres face, as well as some solutions.

What is Knowledge Evidence?

In order to achieve a qualification, a learner has to demonstrate that they have attained certain knowledge and skills. The knowledge and skills they need to demonstrate is outlined in specifications for the qualification and are called ‘learning outcomes’ (e.g. the things that should result from the learner’s training). These learning outcomes are evidenced through two types of evidence: knowledge evidence and performance evidence.

In a nutshell, knowledge evidence demonstrates what a learner knows and performance evidence demonstrates what a learner can do.

How Do I Know If I Should Gather Knowledge Evidence?

This one’s easy!

Each unit within a qualification will contain learning outcomes and assessment criteria.

Let’s use a unit from the TQUK Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training (RQF) as an example:

Learning outcomes

The learner will:

Assessment criteria

The learner will:

1. Understand the difference between employability skills and employment skills 1.1 Explain the differences between employability skills and employment skills
1.2 Explain the benefits to learners of having employability skills
2. Understand the personal qualities and skills needed for delivery of employability skills 2.1 Analyse personal qualities and skills required for the delivery of employability skills
2.2 Analyse the influence of personal presentation on the success of the delivery of employability skills

 

The words in red are command verbs. Command verbs outline what the learner must be able to do, and by extension what kind of evidence has to be gathered. In this instance, the first learning outcome says that the learner must ‘understand the difference between employability skills and employment skills’. They would demonstrate this understanding by explaining the differences between employability skills and employment skills and explaining the benefits to learners of having employability skills (i.e. by fulfilling the assessment criteria). In this particular example, the learner must ‘explain’, which is a prompt to gather knowledge evidence.

The type of evidence you need to gather usually depends on the command verb. Here are some command verbs that tend to indicate that you need to gather knowledge evidence:

In learning outcomes:

  • Understand– This is the standard way for TQUK specifications to ask for knowledge evidence. It shows that the aim of the connected assessment criteria is to measure a learner’s understanding.

In assessment criteria:

  • Analyse – Examine in detail in order to identify components and their characteristics. Show how the main ideas are related and why they are important.
  • Assess – Make a judgement of the value or quality of the subject matter.
  • Comment– Express an opinion or reaction.
  • Compare– Examine subject matter to note the similarities and differences.
  • Conclude– Arrive at a judgement or opinion reasoning.
  • Consider– Express opinions or views on subject matter as a result of careful thoughts.
  • Define– State the meaning or major parts of the subject matter.
  • Describe– Provide and account of. Or outline the main features of the subject matter.
  • Discuss – Identify and debate the main points of a particular subject or idea.
  • Explain– Make the subject matter clear by expanding upon details or relevant facts, perhaps giving reasons.
  • Facilitate– Assist the progress of the subject by making it quicker or easier.
  • Formulate– Express the subject matter in a precise or methodical format, or prepare a plan to do so.
  • Identify– Establish the name in a precise or methodical format. Or prepare a plan to do so.
  • Interpret– Identify the meaning of the subject matter.
  • Justify– Support an argument or conclusion.
  • Outline– Give a general description or summary of the subject matter.
  • Qualify– Explain the drawbacks of the subject matter or explain how it may not always be true.
  • Quantity– Determine the extent or weight of the subject matter.
  • State – Express clearly and briefly.
  • Summarise – State the main points of the subject matter in a more concise format.
  • Verify – Demonstrate that the subject matter is accurate or relevant.

Centres should keep in mind that sometimes learning outcomes that ask for knowledge evidence can contain assessment criteria that demand performance evidence and vice versa. If you’re unsure what kind of evidence to gather, you can always give us a ring.

How Do I Authenticate My Evidence?

This one’s easy, too! It’s a little thing but vital for maintaining the integrity of the assessment process.

Authenticating a learner’s evidence basically means ensuring that the work presented for the assessment was the learner’s work and no one else’s (e.g. to ensure it is not copied or plagiarised). For each piece of evidence, a statement on behalf of the learner is required stating that this work is their own.

For written evidence, this could include a signature or signed written statement of authenticity. For audio or video evidence, the learner would include a verbal statement. This verbal statement must include:

  • Their name
  • Their assessor’s name
  • The date
  • The location
  • The purpose of the recording

While statements of authenticity are essential, the assessor should also review all evidence compiled by the learner and use their own judgement to determine whether the work is their own.

A written document is a great example of how an assessor’s judgement can be used to authenticate evidence. Over the course of the learner’s programme, the assessor should become familiar with the learner’s writing style. If they receive a written document for one of their assessment activities and the writing style seems significantly different from the learner’s original style (e.g. a larger vocabulary or knowledge of the subject that greatly outstrips their knowledge beforehand), the assessor should investigate if the work has been taken from elsewhere.

What Assessment Activities Gather Knowledge Evidence?

There are loads of ways you can gather knowledge evidence. Here are some of the most common assessment activities that gather knowledge evidence:

  • Essay– a piece of writing where the author puts forward an argument about a particular subject.
  • Multiple-Choice Question Tests– a test where the learner has been posed a question and is required to choose the correct answer from choices offered.
  • Short Answer Question Tests– a test where the learner has been posed a question and is required to provide a short written answer.
  • Portfolio– a collection of evidence gathered over the course of the programme that provides a holistic picture of the learner’s knowledge and skills.
  • Professional Discussions– a structured, pre-planned discussion between the assessor and the learner. The discussion would be led by the learner and explore a topic in depth.
  • Question and Answer– an informal dialogue between learner and assessor, often with short specific questions.
  • Case Studies– a written summary of the learner’s experience relating to a particular area of their programme or the learner’s comments in a pre-prepared scenario.

Let’s use the same unit table from the TQUK Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training (RQF) as an example to see how different assessment methods might be used to meet the assessment criteria.

Learning outcomes

The learner will:

Assessment criteria

The learner will:

1. Understand the difference between employability skills and employment skills 1.1 Explain the differences between employability skills and employment skills
1.2 Explain the benefits to learners of having employability skills
2. Understand the personal qualities and skills needed for delivery of employability skills 2.1 Analyse personal qualities and skills required for the delivery of employability skills
2.2 Analyse the influence of personal presentation on the success of the delivery of employability skills

 

Portfolio

A Portfolio contains many different types of assessment activities. They can include things like Essays, Case Studies and more. If you were creating a Portfolio to satisfy the assessment criteria in the unit above, you have many options:

Essay: the learner could write an essay where they analyse the influence of personal presentation on the success of the deliverability of employability skills.

Case Study: a case study could be used to explain the differences between employability skills and employment skills by using particular experiences as examples.

Short Answer Question Tests

Tests are usually written by awarding organisations and come from comprehensive question banks specifically designed for that particular qualification.

If you’re gathering evidence for this unit, the command verbs for the assessment criteria require that the learner ‘explain’ and ‘analyse’. These command verbs are prompts to collect knowledge evidence. For example, a short answer question test could use a question to get the learner to ‘explain’ the differences between employability skills and employment skills in a short written answer.

Professional Discussion

A Professional Discussion could be used to satisfy the assessment criteria in 1.2. The assessor could prepare a bespoke question that asks the learner to explain the benefits to learners of having employability skills.

TQUK Assessment Records

For many of our qualifications, centre devised assessment is the way to go. However, some of our qualifications aren’t as large, and a more flexible assessment method is required.

For these shorter qualifications, assessment can be conducted with TQUK Assessment Records. These Assessment Records are written to fully meet the assessment criteria of the qualification in question. They can be used in conjunction with TQUK Course Manuals.

Let’s take a unit from the TQUK Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work (RQF) as an example:

Learning outcomes

The learner will:

Assessment criteria

The learner can:

1. Understand the role and responsibilities of a first aider 1.1 Identify the role and responsibilities of the first aider
1.2 Identify how to minimise the risk of infection to self and others
1.3 Identify the need for consent to provide first aid

As you can see, the learner must ‘understand the role and responsibilities of a first aider’ by identifying the role and responsibilities of a first aider, identifying how to minimise the risk of infection to self and others and identifying the need for consent to provide first aid.

TQUK Assessment Records contain a combination of short answer and multiple-choice questions that address the assessment criteria directly. They are versatile assessment resources that make the assessment process a lot user-friendly and flexible.

Below is a sample page from a TQUK Assessment Record for a First Aid qualification:

As you can see, the questions posed to the learner in the Assessment Record gather knowledge evidence in line with the assessment criteria in the specification. By using TQUK Assessment Records, centres delivering our qualifications have a perfect accompaniment to the TQUK Course Manuals that take the stress and bother out of the assessment process.

Common Challenges

Challenge: I’m not sure how much evidence I’m supposed to gather for each assessment criteria. What is expected in terms of volume?

Ultimately, it’s up to the assessor’s judgement whether or not the assessment criteria are met. Try to gather as much evidence as you can and make sure you’re gathering everything you need to by planning ahead for your assessment.

Challenge: What’s the best way to make sure that all assessment criteria are covered?

A common practice to make sure all assessment criteria are met is to list out all the assessment criteria in the qualification and identify which will be covered by which assessment method. This is called mapping. By doing this, you can ensure that every assessment criteria are addressed.

Challenge: What is the difference between a Question and Answer assessment and a Professional Discussion?

These two are easy to get mixed up. A Question and Answer is a very straightforward assessment whereby the assessor poses unplanned questions to the learner. In a Professional Discussion, questions are planned in advance by the assessor and the activity tends to be led by the learner.

A Professional Discussion is more formal than a Question and Answer. Because the learner has time to prepare, they can be more confident and will probably be able to go into more detail.

Question and Answers are more informal. They tend to work well in conjunction with other assessment activities, like multiple-choice questions, to ensure all areas of improvement are addressed. For instance, if a learner takes a test and the assessor identifies that they got a certain question wrong, a question in the Question and Answer might address that subject to identify any areas for improvement.

It is very easy for a Professional Discussion to turn into a Question and Answer, so make sure your assessor sticks to the pre-planned format.

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We hope this gave you a better understanding of knowledge evidence and how to gather it. Now, your assessors will be able to collect all evidence seamlessly.

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See you out there!