n South African Journal of Higher Education - Justifying means with ends : assessment and academic performance

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The focus of this study is on open-book assessment in relation to essay and multiple choice kinds of assessment based on the performance of 512 first- and second-language students. In addition to the standard examinations (MCQ & essays), students were tested on 4 open-book assessments during the course of the semester. The results showed that the pattern of marks across grades for the open-book assessments were similar to that for MCQ and essays. There was very little variation across the 4 open-book assessments within grades and also within bands of matriculation point scores of 5 30, 30± 34, 4 34. Matriculation point scores yielded significant correlations with the different kinds of assessment only for the first-language students with scores 4 29. In general, the results indicate that student performance tends to remain fairly stable with MCQ generally yielding higher marks than other kinds of assessment.

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