n South African Journal of Education - Portfolios - a strategy for reform in information technology teaching

Volume 25, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



Changing societal needs and philosophies of education constantly require academics to rethink teaching and learning. Currently, globalisation and the reconstruction of society have radically changed the profile of the student body. Assessment is without doubt one of the major 'drivers' of the teaching-learning process that steers the quality of learning. Research has established that portfolios can be used as a flexible and versatile tool to support student-centred learning, as well as assessment. Coupled with the fact, that the student's perception of the assessment procedure is the single most important influence on learning, this led to the introduction of portfolios as part of the teaching methodology for Information Technology (IT) students at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) in 2000. In 2002 a research project was launched to determine the effect of the portfolio intervention. All the IT students enrolled in 2002 at the VUT were included in the research project. The outcome of the portfolio implementation project is reported on. The following three objectives were used as a basis for discussion and reflection: firstly, the description of the portfolio development process; secondly, an evaluation of the outcomes that include changes in knowledge and attitude that resulted from this project as well as the effect on the pass rate; and thirdly, impact objectives that focus on changes in the long-term performance of students that resulted from the research project.

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