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  • 2014/5 V1

    Producing assignment briefs A step-by-step guide

  • Producing assignment briefs Achieving the standard VTCT qualifications are made up of units which cover specific topics and include:

     learning outcomes, which define what a learner needs to know, understand and do

     Assessment and grading criteria, specify the standard a learner is expected to meet to demonstrate that a particular grade has been achieved (assessment criteria determine the minimum standard required by the learner to achieve a Pass grade; grading criteria set out the standards for Merit and Distinction grades).

    In many internally assessed units, assignment briefs are the primary assessment instrument used by learners to generate evidence to demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes and assessment and grading criteria. We have produced assignment briefs for most internally assessed units, you can download these from the VTCT website. We strongly advocate that these are used, however, you may choose to tailor these to suit your individual programme or devise your own. What is an assignment brief? Assignment briefs are assessments that demonstrate a learner’s knowledge, understanding and skills of a specific topic area. Assignment briefs are used by learners to generate evidence which is then measured against a unit’s learning outcomes and assessment and grading criteria. Producing high quality assignment briefs Assignment briefs must be of high quality to support learners to produce evidence which is:

     Appropriate – the required evidence is in line with that expected of a learner at the given level

     Authentic – the work produced is the learners own

     Relevant – tasks are real to life and in line with the assignment brief scenario, topic area and unit content

     Sufficient – there is enough evidence to demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes, assessment and grading criteria

     Valid – the evidence produced specifically meets the relevant learning outcomes and assessment and grading criteria.

  • Using VTCT assignment briefs VTCT assignment briefs are published annually from September until June. Assignment briefs change annually. VTCT assignment briefs:

     cover the full breadth of assessment and grading criteria

     are written in clear and accessible language

     use realistic vocational contexts to engage and inspire learners

     enable learners to produce valid, sufficient and authentic evidence

     enable learners to produce evidence in a variety of different forms, including projects, presentations, practical observations, written reports and graphs and posters (this list is not exhaustive)

     are accessible to all, avoid discrimination, bias and stereotyping and support equality and diversity.

    Assignment briefs produced by VTCT are ready to use. Adapting and producing your own assignment briefs When amending or producing your own assignment briefs, the number of tasks should be kept to a minimum. Holistic assessment should be encouraged. In some instances a single task may naturally cover a number of learning outcomes and/or assessment and grading criteria. If you choose to tailor VTCT assignment briefs or devise your own, these must first be checked, approved and signed by your IQA and then sent to your EQA for approval prior to use. You must complete the IQA/EQA Assignment brief checklist form. Use the following step-by-step guide if you are devising your own assignment briefs. The Assignment brief template that you must complete is presented in Appendix 1, the IQA/EQA Assignment brief checklist form is presented in Appendix 2. Both must be submitted to the EQA. These can be downloaded from the VTCT website. Producing your own assignment briefs: Step by step Please see Appendix 1 for an Assignment brief template. Appendix 3 contains a sample VTCT assignment brief. When devising your own assignment brief you must complete all of the following sections:

     Qualifications covered List the qualification(s) the learner is undertaking.

     Unit code / title List the VTCT unit code and title that the assignment brief covers.

     Issue date Specify the date the assignment brief will be given to learners.

  •  Hand in date Specify the latest date learners may submit their completed assignments for marking.

     Assessor/IQA Add the name(s) of the assessor(s)/IQA.

     Assignment title Give your assignment a succinct title which will engage and enthuse learners.

     Scenario This section provides the context or setting for the assignment. It is this section that brings the assignment to life. Provide a vocational scenario, preferably in a work-related context. Make sure it is appropriate to your learners. For example, you are the Chief Executive of a Football Club is not realistic for level 2 learners. It is important that the scenario is realistic and relevant so that learners can relate to the assignment brief.

     Task The number of tasks in an assignment brief may vary from one unit to another. Some units will have closely linked learning outcomes and one task may suffice which covers all learning outcomes, assessment and grading criteria. Other units may require two or three tasks to provide learners with the opportunity to cover all learning outcomes, assessment and grading criteria. Tasks should relate to the scenario. There should not be an excessive number of tasks. You should specify a brief title for each task.

     Task overview This section provides an outline of the evidence that must be produced along with key content. Specify what learners need to complete to demonstrate the knowledge, understanding and skills required to achieve the unit.

     Evidence you must produce Otherwise referred to as the assessment instrument, this may take the form of a variety of evidence types including, a written report, presentation, handout, leaflet, video etc.

     Evidence to be included This section explains the evidence that needs to be produced and provides specific guidance on the nature and format of evidence without being overly prescriptive. This guidance will provide learners with sufficient information to ensure that all unit learning outcomes and assessment and grading criteria are achieved. This section should be written in language that learners will understand and not simply duplicate learning outcomes and assessment and grading criteria.

  •  Criteria covered by this task This is a list of assessment and grading criteria that are covered by the task. Each and every task must cover a range of assessment and grading criteria at different levels; a single task cannot solely focus on distinction criteria, or pass criteria. A single task must span the full range of criteria including Pass, Merit and Distinction.

    Once you have produced your assignment brief pass it to your IQA for review and sign off. Your IQA will then forward to your EQA for approval.

  • Appendix 1 - Assignment brief template [centre modified assignments]

    If you choose to modify the assignment briefs produced by VTCT or devise your own, please complete this template. Modified assignments must first be appraised by a centre’s internal quality assurer (IQA), and then sent to your external quality assurer (EQA) for approval prior to use. The IQA/EQA Assignment brief checklist must be used.

    Qualifications covered

    [complete this section]

    Unit code / title [complete this section]

    Issue date [complete this section]

    Hand in date [complete this section]

    Assessor [complete this section]

    IQA [complete this section]

    Assignment title [complete this section]

    Scenario

    [complete this section]

  • Task 1 – [complete this section]

    Overview [complete this section]

    Evidence you must produce [complete this section]

    What you must include [complete this section]

    Criteria covered by this task [complete this section]

    Task 2 – [complete this section]

    Overview [complete this section]

    Evidence you must produce [complete this section]

    What you must include [complete this section]

    Criteria covered by this task [complete this section]

    Task 3 – [complete this section]

    Overview [complete this section]

    Evidence you must produce [complete this section]

    What you must include [complete this section]

    Criteria covered by this task [complete this section]

  • Appendix 2 - IQA/EQA Assignment brief checklist

    It is the responsibility of the External Quality Assurer (EQA) to approve assignment briefs that have been modified or devised by a centre prior to use. Assignment briefs produced and published by VTCT do not require further approval.

    This form should be used by the centre’s Internal Quality Assurer (IQA) to appraise and approve assignment briefs. It should then be sent to the EQA for approval. Assignment brief checklists should be countersigned by the IQA and EQA prior to use.

    Assignment briefs not deemed fit for purpose by the EQA will be returned to the centre within 10 working days from receipt and will include comments/actions. Where action is required the IQA should confirm the actions, and sign along with the EQA.

    Assignment information

    Qual