SASSO-C, A SYSTEM TO AUTOMATICALLY AND CONSISTENTLY CONVERT THE PERFORMANCE OF A TRAINEE INTO A LOCAL SCORE, AN ECTS GRADE AND A COMPETENCE REPORT

L. Simoens

University College Ghent (BELGIUM)
Student coaches working with trainees often deal with a dual task: coaching the student and determining the mark the student gets during or after accomplishing his training period. In recent years grading is no longer sufficient to judge the performance of a trainee: at least an overview of the achieved competences has to be added.

Assessors generally observe, read portfolios, discuss findings and express their findings in a mark or a grade, sometimes probably affected by personal perceptions and view on the training period. The grade a trainee gets for his achievements may be influenced by the professional and didactical knowledge, individual views and background of both professionals and coaches. Not unfrequently an unambiguous link between the achievement and the grade and between the grade and the observed competences is complex. Students however want to clearly know what aspects of their training period affect their mark, in what way and to what extent, and which performances are linked to which competences: “Students should be assessed using published criteria, regulations and procedures which are applied consistently.” (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, 2009, Helsinki, 3rd edition). Coaches and professionals feel better when they may rely upon a consistent system to convert the findings of their assessment.

The presented procedure, called SASSO-c, meets these purposes as the assessor does not have to consider the conversion of his findings. In SASSO-c grading and judging the achievement of competences have been separated from coaching and assessing. Consequently the coach may turn his attention to main educational tasks. The procedure comprises a spreadsheet tool computing two important conclusions: a mark and a competence profile. The mark suggests a grade, taking into account the observed and the expected professional behaviour, the profile of the profession and remarks and advises frequently given to trainees and their peers. At the same time the observations are converted into a competence profile, indicating what competences the trainee has shown and to what extent and what competences have to be improved.

To make it possible to assess trainees going to or coming from international partner institutions the tool proposes an ECTS grade as well.

Initially the procedure was developed within health care education but it may be adapted to any education where grading has to be based on a trainees performance. The procedure provides coaches dealing with trainees a system converting their findings into a grade and a competence profile, proving it is possible to objectify a trainee’s complicated and extensive job consistently.