Learning assessment practices in the Education Department at the Eastern Cape Technikon : an evaluative case study

Njamela, Doris Nomonde (2003-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The new education dispensation and the resultant reform movement have set in motion efforts to transform the assessment of learners' work and learning. The shift towards an integrated approach to education and training based on an outcomes model, is an attempt to raise standards of leaming and teaching performance and depends in part on efforts to transform assessment practices at the micro, meso and macro levels. Policy documents and literature note that it is a matter of consensus that the type of assessment used in any education and training system affects both the curriculum and the teaching methodology. In addition, the South African Qualifications Authority (1997) suggests that assessment is increasingly to be seen as a tool for learning. The National Guidelines for Assessment produced by the National Department of Education show the need for a major paradigm shift in assessment including a shift in its main purposes. The aim of this study was to determine the nature of the current assessment practices in the Education Department of the Eastern Cape Technikon and to evaluate them using the principles of sound assessment derived from the literature study. The research strategy for this study was a qualitative case study. Qualitative data was generated through semi-structured interviews with students and lecturers in the Education Department of the Eastern Cape Technikon. The study concluded that the assessment practices in the Education Department of the Eastern Cape Technikon do not represent assessment characteristic of the learning paradigm and do not correspond with sound assessment practices. It appears that a shift from the traditional to the alternative paradigm is necessary in order to improve assessment practices currently in use in the department. Particular guidelines to this effect are offered.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die nuwe onderwysbedeling en die meegaande hervormingsbeweging het pogings om die assessering van leerders se werk en leer te transformeer aan die gang gesit. Die beweging na 'n geïntegreerde benadering tot onderwys en opleiding wat op die uitkomstemodel geskoei is, is 'n poging om onderrig- en leerstandaarde te verbeter. Dit berus gedeeltelik op pogings om assesseringspraktyk op die mikro-, meso- en makrovlak te transformeer. Beleidsdokumente en relevante literatuur noem dat daar konsensus is dat die tipe assessering wat in enige onderwys- en opleidingstelsel gebruik word, op beide die kurrikulum en die onderrigmetodologie 'n uitwerking het. Die Suid-Afrikaanse Kwalifikasieraamwerk (1997) stel voor dat assessering toenemend as 'n middel ter bevordering van leer beskou moet word. Die Nasionale Riglyne vir Assessering wat deur die Nasionale Departement van Onderwys daargestel is, beklemtoon die noodsaaklikheid van 'n beduidende paradigmaskuif in assessering asook ten opsigte van die hoofdoel daarvan. Die doel van hierdie studie was om die aard van die huidige assesseringspraktyke in die Opvoedkundedepartement van die Eastern Cape Technikon te bepaal en om die praktyke te evalueer. Vir die evalueringsproses is die beginsels van betroubare assessering, soos afgelei uit die literatuurstudie, gebruik. Die navorsingstrategie wat vir hierdie studie gebruik is, was 'n kwalitatiewe gevallestudie. Kwalitatiewe data is deur semigestruktureerde onderhoude met studente en dosente in die Opvoedkundedepartement van die Eastern Cape Technikon gegenereer. Die gevolgtrekking is gemaak dat die assesseringspraktyke in die Opvoedkundedepartement van die Eastern Cape Technikon nie assessering verteenwoordig wat kenmerkend is van die leerparadigma nie. Dit kom ook nie met aanvaarde assesseringspraktyke ooreen nie. Dit blyk dat 'n skuif van die tradisionele na die alternatiewe paradigma noodsaaklik is ten einde assesseringspraktyke wat tans in die departement gebruik word, te verbeter. Besondere riglyne om dit teweeg te bring, word aangebied.

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