Unit delivery on BTEC Level 3 in Music and Music Technology
This update offers guidance on how to use assessment and assignments while considering the guidelines for assessing on BTEC Level 3 in Music and Music Technology (QCF)
When teaching any skills and knowledge in any of the units you can use assignments and mock assessments giving formative feedback for as long as you feel is appropriate. This is particularly helpful to build understanding and skills on a particular task and is assessment for learning. Once you feel your students are ready to complete an assignment it can be set.
This is assessment of learning and is the summative assessment which needs to be included in your assessment plans. Under the rules for assessment this can only be set once and means that you cannot set and assess the same criteria again for that cohort. Tasks can be written for a single Learning Objective but must be written to cover all assessment criteria up to Distinction level.
In many of the performance units your learners will work on rehearsing and developing performance over a period of time. This may be working to a large performance near the end of the course. Therefore it would be appropriate to use performances as you progress through the course to provide assessment for learning.
During this you are able to give feedback on the skills and knowledge to develop as a Musical Director or Producer may do to a performer. You must stop short of grading the performance. This will give learners the guidance to improve throughout the course as they build upon the skills and knowledge learnt through the formative feedback given.
Once you feel the learners are ready and it is appropriate you can set the summative assessment. Once this assignment has been set you may not give any further guidance to how the learners can develop their skills. It is possible to give broad guidance on knowledge, understanding and skills to the whole cohort. This could be confirmation of the criteria being targeted, guidance on how to approach the skills requirements or clarification of what the assignment brief is asking of the learner.
The feedback offered once the assessment has been completed will include what criteria has been achieved and why, the criteria not achieved and general information on conduct and approach. It should not include instructions on how to improve to gain a higher grade. You can only confirm grades once the assessment has been completed. This is the assessment of learning process.
Some performance units require learners to complete multiple performances to receive a grade. For example in Unit 30: Pop Music in Practice it is necessary to perform 4 pieces to cover criteria P4, M4 and D4 as the 4 eras from the unit content must be covered. It is obviously possible to perform these pieces at one performance and assess this. Another option could be that the performances can be assessed over a number of performance occasions.
If the latter is the case it is necessary to pay attention to the rules of feedback already given. The assignment must be set prior to the first performance and throughout the process only general guidance can be given. A grade can only be confirmed with the learner once all 4 pieces have been completed and assessed.
In some units the assessment criteria may refer to "assistance", "support" or "guidance". Many teachers may wonder how the rules on feedback during assessment may affect these criteria. To explain this refer to Unit 25: Music Production Techniques, criterion 2. This states to achieve a pass learners must ‘set up the equipment required for a recording session competently with limited tutor support’. The support that can be offered should be limited to technical assistance or direction on how to complete a practical task. This should then be considered when making the assessment decisions. If a learner is in frequent need of this support and does not make positive development in their performance then the assessor should not consider this sufficient for a pass grade.