Integrating Assignments –Level 3 BTEC Sport (QCF)

Firstly before we consider the integration of the assignment brief it is important to consider the method which should be followed in order to design an effective assignment brief.

Assignment design

Assignments must be designed to motivate learners, to allow learners to achieve specified unit grading criteria in vocational contexts, and must call on learners to produce varied forms of evidence.

When designing assignments it is possible to:

• have one assignment brief to assess all the grading criteria of a unit

• have two or more smaller assignment briefs for a unit

The scenario

The assignment should be based within an interesting vocational scenario so that learning can be applied to the real world of work.

The tasks

Each assignment is divided into tasks: detailed descriptions of the activities learners will undertake in order to produce evidence to meet the unit’s grading criteria and complete the assignment. Each task must:

• Specify the extent and nature of evidence that learners should present
• Be clear, specific, time-bound, stepped, relevant and realistic
• Address the grading criteria it targets, paying careful attention to the operative verb of each criterion (‘describe’, ‘explain’, ‘evaluate’, etc.)
• Reference the grading criteria it addresses
• Be presented in learner-friendly, engaging and inspirational language, not simply repeating the grading criteria
• Address the grading criteria in full, and not split a criterion across more than one assignment.

Evidence

Clearly state what learners are expected to provide as evidence for each task. Forms of evidence can include:

• Recorded discussions
• Log books/diaries
• Artefacts
• Presentations
• Performance
• Brochures/leaflets/posters
• Case studies
• Web-based material (websites, blogs, VLE, podcasts, etc)
• Role plays
• Reports/written investigations
• Annotated photographs
• Promotional material
• Work-based evidence.

Assessment and grading criteria

• The assignment must state exactly which assessment and grading criteria are being addressed. This should be done at the end of each tasks and should be done through the use of brackets at the end of each task. For example, for an assignment task which targets P1, M1 and D1, at the end of the tasks the assessor should highlight this in the following format :
(P1, M1, D1)
• Centres must not rewrite any aspect of the unit’s assessment and grading criteria nor add their own centre-devised criteria.
• Centres may provide additional guidance, explaining criteria requirements in learner-friendly language, but the exact wording of the published criteria must appear on the assignment.
• An assignment can have one unit as the main focus, but learners may also be producing evidence towards other units at the same time.

Appropriate Context

Assignment briefs should always be developed and adapted to meet the needs of learners at your centre and to take account of your centre’s resources. They must also be checked by someone in your centre (internally verified) to ensure they are fit for purpose before they are given to learners

The assignment brief will often need to be supplemented with further information, for example:

• A demonstration
• Handouts
• Videos or DVDs
• References to books
• References to websites
• Visits to source primary research materials within the locality of your centre
• Visits to sport and exercise science laboratories, leisure centres, museums, exhibitions or other places where research can be undertaken
• Visits from guest speakers/local practitioners.

The context should always provide the learners with a specific role which is linked to throughout the tasks of the assessment. Assessment tasks should not simply be the assessment criteria and the unit content copied from the unit specification. Tasks should be linked to the context which is initially set in the scenario.

Relevant to your learners

The most successful assignments will engage and excite learners to take responsibility for the progress of their own learning. The assignments should be linked to contexts which learners can relate to. When using a vocational context learners are much more likely to relate to the context if they can personally relate to the context.

Integration of Assignment Briefs

When designing assessments it is also an option to assess criteria from one unit to be integrated with assessment of criteria from another unit.
When considering merging the assessment criteria from two or more units it is important that the assessor firstly considers the links to the other units appropriate for the qualification pathway. To do this the assessors should firstly look in the ‘Essential Guidance to Tutors’ section which can be found in each of the unit specifications. In addition to the detailed guidance and support around assessment and delivery there is a section which links units from across the whole suite of BTEC Sport units, this section is entitled ‘Links to National Occupational Standards, other BTEC units, other BTEC Qualifications and other relevant units and qualifications’. Using this section from the unit specification for one unit should then enable the assessor to further investigate the links to other units.
When looking at integrating units it is very important that the assessor has a thorough understanding of the assessment criteria and content requirements across the units which are to merged together.
The assessor should ensure that when writing a scenario that the context is linked to each of the units which are to be addressed in the assignment brief.
It is in the tasks themselves that it is important that the assessor has covered the requirements of the targeted assessment criteria and unit content for each of the units. In some instances the assessment criteria may be very similar across units. However, there may be content requirement’s which differ across units. In these instances the assessor may simply provide further support in the main body of the task (which should be linked to the vocational context), there is no need for the assessor to differentiate the differences of content in the task.
At the end of the task when the criteria are merged the centre should identify which criteria at the end of the task have been targeted. This should be shown highlighting the unit number and the criteria targeted. For example; for a task which targets Unit 5 P4, M4 & D2 and Unit 3 P4, M3 and D1 the assessor should display at the end of the task like below;
(UNIT 5 – P4, M4, D2)
(UNIT 3 – P4, M3 D1)

However, in some of the tasks which are devised as part of the assessment the criteria requirements may be very different. In this instance the tracking should be split within the task and not simply listed at the end of the assessment. For example if part of the assessment ask the learners to Plan a sports coaching session (Unit 5, P4) and the other element of the task ask the learners to complete a risk assessment for the session (Unit 3 P4). The tracking of the criteria in the criteria should be as follows;

Task 2:

Plan a sports coaching session

(Unit 5, P4)

Carry out a risk assessment for the sports coaching session

(Unit 3 P3)

(NOTE – the tasks would require much more guidance and support from the assessor to ensure the learner met the criteria in full. The tasks would also need to be contextualised against the vocational scenario.)

In some instances the criterion which is merged in an assignment may only meet partial criteria. This is not best practice but if this is done then the assessor should ensure that this is also stated in the tracking of the criteria in the task.

For example:

Task 2:

Plan a sports coaching session

(Unit 5, P4)

Carry out a risk assessment for the sports coaching session

(Unit 3 P3 – partial)

The most important role of the programme coordinator is to manage the integration of assessment criteria across units and track the whereabouts of the criteria to ensure that over the duration of the course all of the criteria from all of the units required to be completed are covered in full. Failure to meet one assessment criteria from one unit would result in the learner not achieving a pass in that unit and as a learner is required to pass every unit in order to pass the programme which the learner is registered upon. Failure to track one criterion could result in the learner not achieving the overall qualification.

It is strongly advised that assessors do integrate the assessment of various units and there is a lot of opportunity for an assessor to do this using the suite of BTEC units in the BTEC Sport qualification. However, the assessor must ensure that when they do integrate criteria into assignments that careful planning and preparation goes into this.

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