VET in schools: Analysis of Business Services Training Package

Year: 2006

Author: Downing, Hayden, Griffin, Patrick, Gillis, Shelley

Type of paper: Refereed paper

From mid-1999 to the end of 2000, the Federal Government financed the Full Service Schools Program, one of three programs concerned with reducing youth unemployment by encouraging young people to complete Year 12 and make successful transitions to further training, new apprenticeships or work. At the same time, the Federal Government launched a program to identify ways of obtaining greater recognition in industry and university of achievement in VET courses at schools.

This paper focuses on the Business Services Training Package (BSB01) and analyses one aspect of a survey of the assessment of VETsubjects in schools throughout Australia. The paper compares item response modelling (IRM) with a model that uses subject matter experts (SMEs) to prepare rubrics to guide persons assessing candidates. These rubrics are designed on the assumption of a continuum of competence for each unit of competence.

IRM (Rasch analyses) showed that the SMEs make valid judgments of relative levels of difficulty. IRM also showed how, in some units, some criteria with similar levels of difficulty could be combined. In other cases, IRM showed how the order of some of the criteria could be changed to consolidate the underlying continua of competence.