VTCT Record of Assessment booklets
Has anyone out there, teaching VTCT courses, managed to fathom a way of using/filling in the VTCT Record of Assessment booklets? Lecturers (and students) seem to tear their hair out over them and they are the bain of everybody's life. The VTCT EV's recommendation is that one fills in them throughout the course. However, many lecturer's I've spoken to have a "filling in the books" day towards the end of the course.
I'd be very interested to hear your view and your helpful tips that will keep all of us (lecturers and students) sane! You're welcome to reply via the Forum or to me personally (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I'm especially interested in the Level 3 Indian Head Massage course at present (units M2, M74 and M69).
Ideally, fill them in as you go, but they often don't arrive till near the end of the course!
I get the students to highlight the range on the PC page as they cover them, then highlight in the same colour in the range box and date it, together with a treatment number which they also write on their treatment evidence sheet. Then they can pick their clients if time is short to ensure they don't miss opportunities to cover the whole range. And you can quickly check what they need to do to complete.
I have also devised a treatment plan sheet with the ranges on it for each unit so they can tick it when they do the treatment. This is their evidence as well as a reminder of what they need to cover. It was very time consuming developing this, but it has saved me time and nagging in the long run.
I always set a lesson for portfolio building near course end with the whole group so we can tick boxes together and make sure they've all covered the criteria. This gives enough time to formulate oral questions for anything not covered in assessments with clients. Or write additional questions for them to answer as written evidence. You can also do this if you set tutorial time so you can do individual work.
I also try and gear written assignments to the criteria that I suspect they won't cover with real clients. This makes it easier to tick off stuff together as a group as you know they've already answered it.
Try not to leave it till the last minute - but I never manage to do that! Tick off all practical assessments as soon as you begin summative assessments. Make good tracking notes as you are assessing so you can fill in log books in subsequent lessons if you have to postpone it. Otherwise you'll forget what you observed. Train the students to understand the log books (not always successful) but usually one gets it and can help the others while you deal with them one to one.
Hope this helps - sorry it's longwinded but so is doing the books!
Nicola - thanks for this terrific, comprehensive, reply. I am already doing much of what you suggest - but it is such a pain, I am very interested in knowing how lecturers like yourself tackle it.
Many thanks again.
We do much the same as the previous writer.
A few things that may be slightly different; I get the students to mark off the different ranges a,b,c,d...etc, then in the range box they can just put R1a,c - makes it a bit quicker. I'm sure you already have them only mark in ranges that haven't already been covered. We do the same thing, that on the treatment plan I've put all the ranges, so they can tick it there, cross reference to the book, and then also to the index in the portfolio, where our EV wants them to put the ranges as well.
We mark off the practical sessions as we go, it's always quite a rush, because of course it's the last classes and there is always someone who is behind. I also have to observe 5 people at a time, with about 10 minutes before the next 5, so hard not to get behind!
Next year I intend to go over the books right from the beginning, and also give out the portfolio indexes, etc, and start portfolio building from about week 3 or 4, so it's all done as we go along. Also, as we complete the underpinning knowledge, I'll have them enter that in their books, rather than leaving it all to the end.
It's a shame VTCT can't make the books a bit more 'user friendly' by putting in more abbreviations or letters for us.
Hope this helps! I'm very interested in any shortcuts anyone else comes up with. I find it a complete nightmare, and am always afraid I've overlooked an element or range when there are so many to check.
Thanks, Nicki - another most interesting reply and, again, slightly different approach. I hope someone from VTCT (a bold EV, perhaps!) reads all of this and passes it on to their Assessors' Board. Maybe they could take on board all of our comments/views and produce something more user-friendly.
Re: VTCT Record of Assessment Booklets.......Aaaarrrggghhhh!
When as a mature student, several years ago, I took a couple of VTCT courses (having qualified via ITEC on several other courses) and I was daunted to the point of nearly giving up with the 'paperwork' involved. Confused? I was flabberghasted and frustrated and vowed never to take another VTCT course ever again!
Guess what! I am now training on a City & Guilds Adult Teacher Training Course and have experienced VTCT 'Records of Assessment' from the other side of the fence - and it is an even worse nightmare.
Whoever in VTCT devised their 'system' of assessment has obviously never taught a group of enthusiastic students and watched (with sympathy and despair) their enthusiasm and self-belief dwindle over the weeks because of the form-filling, box-ticking et al that intruded on the true teaching and learning process. There must be a more effective way of assessing the student's progress and competencies?
In fact, unfortunately, I have vowed never to teach another VTCT course!
I guess if one is employed to teach a VTCT course it would not be self-serving to openly critizise one's 'employers'! So do we all just shut up and put up and exchange moans and 'how to overcomes' on a site such as this? Hoping that, maybe, A VTCT VIP might just read this site and take note?
Are there no other 'forums' where VTCT is available and willing to engage in a debate on the burdensome beaurocracy of their Assessment criteria?
Just a gentle but weary thought on a sunday evening!
With Regards to you all
My thoughts, exactly, Carole. It is worth some of us getting together and writing to or emailing VTCT about this?
What do you (and others caughts in this nightmare) think? I believe VTCT's membership body is the Federation of Holistic Therapists (just as ITEC's is Embody). They have a Therapy Lecturers' Group and I posted an email on that too but haven't heard a squeak.
Like you, I get very upset when I see my students struggling with the booklet and feel there must be a better way.
Alternatively, maybe, we could get together (by email/phone etc) and devise a user-friendly system we could present to VTCT. That way, we're not just highlighting a problem but offering a solution.
Over to you.
Thanks for your response. Love your passion too! However, my theory is.... never present an ALTERNATIVE 'solution' to a beaurocratic 'body' paid to provide 'solutions' (even if they don't work). It kinda suggests they are not good at their job!!!!!!!!!! (Grin) Bound to get zilch or negative feedback.
Neither (unfotunately) does it work trying to side-step the staus quo by trying to find more 'efficient' ways of dealing with the staus quo! Lets talk some more!
Over to you, then!
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I raised the issue of the VTCT assessment booklets in 2006! We're now into 2010. Has anyone managed to crack this - almost 4 years later!