One of my favourite things about being a tutor for MOL on their Foundation Certificate in Learning and Development (CLD) - apart from getting to meet lots of lovely L&D professionals and trainers - are the assessments.
That may surprise you, as students are often concerned or worried about assessments when starting a new programme of study, and marking many assessments at once may not seem appealing to tutors either, but what I love about MOL assessments is that they are not traditional academic ones.
Instead, the assessments across the CLD programme are all designed to be as close as possible to the actual tasks and activities you need to do as an L&D professional in your day to day work. For example, you are asked to create a written guide for an apprentice to introduce them to what L&D is; to carry out a Learning Needs discussion with a colleague to help them identify their learning needs and put a plan in place to help them address these; and to design an outline for a blended learning programme to meet a real need within your own organisation.
These are just the sorts of things you might be expected to do in the course of your regular work. This is approach is known as ‘authentic assessment’ and can be distinguished from assessments, which are in the form of essays or multiple choice tests. The advantage of this approach is that assessments actually become valuable to students, as they help you put the concepts, models and skills developed on the programme into use, rather than just being a requirement to achieve the qualification.
Often these assessments are specifically designed to help you put your learning into context within your own organisation, perhaps through evaluating a current learning programme. Assessments that are designed to apply learning to work also help to encourage the transfer of learning, which this means that organisations are able to get the benefit of their staff participating in the programme from the start of their course.
Students often report how motivating this approach is and it is great to hear in their reflective blog (also an assessment) about all the different ways in which they are applying their learning. This turns assessments from merely a requirement to achieve the qualification into a really powerful tool for learning that adds so much to the value of the programme, both for the individual student and also for their employer.
Rachel Burnham is an Associate Tutor for MOL and facilitates the CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in Learning and Development.
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