Assessment Mapping

Mapping – Common Pitfalls

During my auditing adventures I see many different mapping documents, styles and techniques.

Some mapping approaches are really useful: they clarify exactly what is required in evidence and reassure assessors that the unit is adequately covered by the assessment instruments and that evidence to be gathered will be valid.

Sadly, some mapping approaches are a woefully wanting.

Accurate and careful mapping in the early stages of assessment design and development is critical. Detailed mapping assists in developing clear and specific questions and tasks, and in writing clear assessment criteria.

Mapping underpins the reliability of the assessment process.

Here are the most common mapping pitfalls (in no particular order):

Failure to map all aspects of the unit
RTOs generally map the performance criteria (PC), but sometimes fail to map the performance evidence (PE) and knowledge evidence (KE) and more frequently fail to map the foundation skills (FSK). Sometimes it might be useful to map the assessment conditions but this really depends on how specific they are. For instance where the assessment condition specifies that assessment must be conducted in a real workplace or with real clients it may be useful to map this aspect of the unit.

Lack of specific mapping
Sometimes mapping can be so vague as to make it unhelpful, for instance where a written task with many questions is mapped (with a tick or a cross) to all knowledge requirements. It is more helpful if the question number is mapped to a specific knowledge requirement.

Over-mapping is when an aspect of the unit (PC, PE, KE, FSK) is mapped to an assessment event that only vaguely relates to the criteria. This is very common with short answer questions that draw out knowledge that may underpin a performance criteria but provide no evidence of the implementation of that performance criteria.

Inaccurate mapping
Inaccurate mapping is when an aspect of the unit is mapped to an assessment event that provides no evidence in relation to that aspect of the unit. OR vise versa, where an assessment event that does provide evidence is not mapped to that aspect of the unit.

Are there aspects of mapping that you find confusing or are a bug-bear for you? Please feel welcome to share your thoughts via the comments link.

Hopefully we will see significant improvement in the quality of mapping and the quality of assessment tool design as trainers and assessors undergo professional development in TAEASS502 Design and develop assessment tools (as required prior to April 2019 for those who don’t already hold the unit).