The Myths and the Reality of Assessing Functionality: Assessment issues emerging from the pilot of the new mathematics, English and ICT in England for young people and adults.

The Myths and the Reality of Assessing Functionality: Assessment issues emerging from the pilot of the new mathematics, English and ICT in England for young people and adults.

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The Myths and the Reality of Assessing Functionality: Assessment issues emerging from the pilot of the new mathematics, English and ICT in England for young people and adults.

The Holy Grail of the assessment of generic skills is an arrangement where learning, understanding and application can be demonstrated by all audiences irrespective of context and programme of learning. Functional Skills have been introduced in an attempt to do just this. Functional English, Mathematics and ICT have been promoted as a response to continuing calls from employers and higher education for school and college leavers with the right underpinning skills to tackle work ,and further study successfully.This paper discusses the significant challenges and disconnects between the policy ambitions, assessment arrangements and stakeholder expectations. The paper also looks at the backwash on learning that this approach to assessment has had, highlights the positive impact on learner motivation and then explores the issues around assessment theology such as comparability, reliability, fitness for purpose and value in assessing functionality. The role that technology has and can play in securing credibility, impact and reach is also addressed as are the gaps between learning aspirations and ,assessment capabilities.

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