What is an Assessment Tool?

What is an Assessment Tool?

An Assessment Tool, also known as an evidence gathering tool, includes the instrument and the instructions for collecting and interpreting evidence in an assessment. Developing assessment tools is an important part of managing a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

According to ASQA, a student must:

  • be assessed against all of the tasks identified in the elements of the unit or module
  • demonstrate they are capable of performing these tasks to an acceptable level

What to Include in Assessment Tools

In order for assessment to be handled effectively, the following aspects need to be included:

  • the context and conditions required for assessment
  • the tasks to be completed by the learner
  • a clear outline of evidence to be gathered from the learner
  • the evidence criteria for making a judgement on competency
  • the administration, recording and reporting requirements

Tools of Assessment Requirements

There are two important aspects that you need to consider when developing assessment tools. 

  1. Principles of Assessment – You need to make sure the Principles of Assessment are met. This is not only best practice, but a requirement under the Standards. These Principles require that assessment is valid, reliable, flexible, and fair.
  2. Rules of Evidence – The Rules of Evidence must also be met and will ensure that evidence collected is valid, sufficient, current and authentic.

Types of Assessments

The goal of assessment tools is to accurately gauge a student’s academic abilities. In order to do this, it is important to collect adequate proof of the student’s performance. It is widely believed that a quality Assessment Tool allows you to collect evidence of competency for three main areas.

These assessment types may be combined when appropriate or separated depending on the competency being assessed.

Note: Assessment Tools should be developed in consultation with industry and tested on a significant number of students.

  1. Practical Assessment Checklist – Assesses the student’s ability to complete a task to the required level of competency.
  2. Knowledge Test – Assesses the student’s conceptual understanding and competency of assessment material.
  3. Third Party Report – Assesses the student’s skills and knowledge at work at their ability to work consistently and use these skills and knowledge in a range of different situations and conditions.

Tips to Enhance Student Learning & Evaluation

Putting the tool through its paces with a trial before it is used by participants will test its effectiveness without affecting students. Select a group of people who have similar characteristics and levels of ability to the target learner group.  You should find if the tools are cost-effective, engaging to the learner, and if they produce valid and reliable evidence.

Assessment Tool vs. Assessment Instrument

When it comes to assessments, ‘tools’ and ‘instruments’ are often discussed – but what’s the difference between them? Simply put, an assessment tool contains assessment instruments. The instruments are the actual questions, case studies, and projects that help measure a student’s progress. Assessment tools are more all-encompassing and can include things such as administration, instructions, recording & reporting requirements. 

What is the difference between an Assessment Instrument and an Assessment Tool?

Assessment Instrument

An Assessment Instrument is part of an Assessment Tool.

Assessment instruments can include:

  • Oral and written questions
  • Observation/demonstration checklists
  • Projects, case studies and scenarios
  • Workplace portfolios

Assessment instruments will include:

  • Tasks to be administered to the students
  • An outline of the evidence to be gathered by the student
  • The evidence criteria used to judge the quality of performance (assessment decision-making rules)

Assessment Tool

The Assessment Tool contains the Assessment Instrument, the context and the conditions of assessment.

The Assessment Tool can also include the following aspects of an assessment:

  • Administration
  • Instructions
  • Recording
  • Reporting requirements

Think of your Assessment Tool as a “Toolbox” – it contains everything you need to conduct an assessment.

Getting the Most Out of Assessment Tools

It’s important to implement assessment tools that can help educators measure one’s progress with ease. The data collection that takes place should inform specific subject area decisions and ensure that academic proficiency is maintained.

It doesn’t have to be time-consuming to generate high-quality assessment methods that improve student learning. On the contrary, there are plenty of reliable training and assessment tools that can be of assistance. Cloud Assess is one such platform. Our platform helps educate the student, assess their current level, and track their progress via one easy-to-use system. Educating students has never been easier.

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