4.4. Assessment


On-placement assessment may include:

  • Log books
  • Placement provider assessment
  • Visiting tutor assessment
  • Assignments
  • Project/s

Log books

Log books can be used as a means of recording student activities and learning.  As students are in diverse placements, the learning gained from the placement is the key to meeting the learning outcomes as evidenced by the activities carried out.  The example weekly log book and assessment criteria gives both the activities and the learning gained from the activities. Students should be required to submit these each week on line such that the placement co-ordinator can monitor the students' progress and step in rapidly if necessary.

Most students have difficulties with the reflective nature of the learning gained in log books and if possible, completed examples of weekly log books should be made available to students prior to and during placement as reference points.

Placement provider assessment

As described above in visits, the placement provider may be asked to assess the student based on their job description (as given in the placement agreement) and employability skills. The assessment scale should be straight forward and where different aspects are being assessed i.e. job and employability skills, it is advisable to use the same scoring system. [See example placement provider report form.]

Where the placement provider assessment is to count substantially towards the students overall assessment, it will be necessary to provide training for placement providers to ensure all students are treated equally. Where the placement provider mark contributes up to 10% of the overall mark then training is not required. When considering the proportion of overall marks allocated to placement provider assessment, it is necessary to consider the learning outcomes. If they are heavily weighted towards skills development then the placement providers assessment may be significant, whereas if they are heavily weighted towards reflective learning, the placement providers assessment will be less significant.

Visiting tutor assessment

The visiting tutor may be required to give an assessment of the student's progress. Whilst this can give greater equality of assessment of students, they are basing their assessment on a judgement made in a very short time frame and on information provided by the placement host and student. For these reasons, visiting tutor assessment should not form a significant part of the overall assessment.

Assignments

In addition to their log book, students may be required to submit assignments. These can be:

  • Based on the work they are carrying out, to encourage deeper thinking and analysis of their role i.e. most critical events for learning; role in ...
  • Reports of aspects of the placement provider not directly related to their job to encourage a wider understanding of the nature of the placement provider i.e. marketing strategy; management structure (see example assessment criteria)

Assignments encourage students to think outside their 9-5 job and develop reflective skills. They also reinforce to the student that the placement is a serious academic activity.

Project/s

Placements may include projects and these may form the main method of assessment. Where students are on placement which are solely project based, the placement co-ordinator, student and placement provider need to agree responsibilities in terms of independent work and supervision including the number and nature of meetings between the student, employer and university tutor.

Projects can be assessed as the final report only or as the final report plus progress reports/report elements submitted at intervals.

It is important to agree the form of the report with the placement provider, especially if the student is planning to use the project work as their Honours project. In this case, it may be necessary for the student to write 2 separate reports, one for the placement provider and one to meet the Honours project requirements.

In year long placements, a project associated with the placement may be a requirement. In this case the length/size of the project must be defined. Approval of projects is described in the pre-placement section.