A critique of the assessment of professional skills



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A Validity


In each University the assessment tasks used have been designed to test various professional skills. The degree to which these tools are valid is arguable. The portfolio/case file assessment used at Adelaide is intended to be an approximation of reality which is designed to demonstrate skills such as written advocacy, research and writing and strategic thinking. However, like portfolio assessment generally, the case files tend to be unwieldy,31 and some skills may not be as clearly demonstrated as others. In contrast, inclusion of other more specific forms of assessment for specific skills, such as oral assessment of advocacy, appears more valid, as those particular skills are not easily assessed in written form and therefore will not necessarily be demonstrated in a portfolio.

At Bond, assessment tasks are more specifically targeted to testing specific skills. However, the very specificity of this assessment scheme suggests that it may be more difficult to assess underlying skills (such as strategic thinking), which may be better demonstrated in an ongoing ‘professional’ environment.





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