Making assessments more meaningful in BTEC Sport

This post was written by Chris Bailey @MrCwBailey.

The Internal assessment rules for BTEC Sport state that no formative feedback can take place once an assignment has started. This does not mean that formative assessments should not take place prior to the commencement of a BTEC assignment. With this in mind I have devised my assessment plan around the following three stages;

Learning task

Students complete activities that build a knowledge base that will be required to be successful in the unit of study.

Formative assessment activity

After completing the learning task and acting on feedback, students complete a formative task to check their understanding.

BTEC Assignment

Finally students use all of their completed work as a reference while completing the assignment.

Following the assignment students are given summative feedback that will detail what criteria has been achieved or not achieved. They are only entitled to resubmit work if they have met the predetermined deadline, are capable of meeting a higher criteria and doing so without support. This is made clear to the students and I have seen a big difference in their attitude and understanding of the assignment process.

Examples of my stages of assessment

Learning Task

These are completed in books or in Google Classroom once we have gone through the content as a class or in small groups. Each learning task is supported by a learning mat that provides students with a structure and allows for differentiation across the assessment criteria.

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Formative Activity

The learning task feedback is acted upon and used to complete formative feedback that is also set in Google Classroom. These learning tasks not only assess understanding, but also look to develop the structure of students writing.

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BTEC Assignment

All of this work is then used to complete the assignment. I try to set assessment tasks that have varying demands and allow for development of a range of skills. For example, in Unit 6 Learning Aim A (Coaching attributes, qualities and skills) the students were asked to create a recruitment campaign that needed to include a video advert (we used PowToon).

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Google Classroom

I have found that using Google Classroom to communicate, monitor and assess the learning tasks, formative tasks and BTEC assignments much more effective than having the work in students individual network folders.

With Classroom you are able to attach key documents/resources that can help students with their work e.g. YouTube videos or presentations from lessons. You can create a copy of the task for each student, which means that once the student clicks on the task a copy is automatically transferred to their Google Drive and has their name in the title of the document. All of these documents are also stored in automatically created and titled folders in the teachers Google Drive which saves a lot time.
Classroom clearly shows you who has or has not completed the work, and whether the work was completed on time or late. I use this feature to evidence whether or not a student can resubmit an assignment (following the three rules I mentioned earlier). The documents are web-based so comments can be made while students work on them, obviously this is not permitted in the BTEC assignments. Finally, the results of the different assignments can be downloaded as an spreadsheet which I keep a record of as evidence of progress over time.

Grading Assignments

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I wanted to give the grades more meaning and show the students how close/far they were from the next level. Therefore, my department and I created a University style assessment criteria that looks to prepare Level 2 students for the step-up to Level 3, and focus our post-16 students on what will be expected of them at University.

How they work

For Level 2, a Level 1 Pass is 40%, Pass is 50%, Merit is 60% and Distinction is 70%, whereas in Level 3 the Pass criteria is broken down into a lower (40%) and higher (50%) Pass. These therefore represent an equivalent to a 3rd or 2:2 at University. Obviously the BTEC assignments can only be graded as Pass, Merit and Distinction (and Level 1 Pass for Level 2), so the above percentages are always given to represent the criteria achieved, however these grades are topped up by considering literacy, presentation and referencing. The students get an extra 2.5% for spelling, punctuation and grammar, 2.5% vocabulary, 2% for presentation and 2% for referencing.

For example, I recently gave a Level 2 student his controlled assessment back as 62%. He knew straight away that he had achieved a Merit, but he had not been successful in either his literacy, presentation or referencing and this would therefore be his focus for the next assignment.

Going back to Google Drive, when an assignment is set the grading can be adjusted. So for an assignment that has a Distinction I would leave the maximum score as 100%, but if the top criteria is a Merit I would change the maximum score to 69%. This is where the exported breakdown of grades begins to have more meaning as you can clearly see how the students writing has improved from one assignment to another.

This whole process has made the teaching and learning in my BTEC Sport classroom more meaningful and the students have been in much better place to complete their assignments. They are less reliant on teacher support and therefore we have been able to be successful despite the introduction of the new assessment rules.

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