n South African Journal of Higher Education - Refining lecturers' assessment practices through formal professional development at Rhodes University




The Higher Education Quality Committee's emphasis on the assessment of student learning in its criteria for institutional audits (June 2004) signals that institutional arrangements to ensure quality assessment practices are to come under the spotlight. One means to demonstrate institutional commitment to quality in assessment practice is to provide formal training programmes enabling lecturers to become accredited as assessors. But the central issue for many South African institutions of higher education is how to successfully develop assessment capacity and accredit lecturers as assessors. This article discusses a professional development course which targets capacity building and the accreditation of lecturers as assessors. It challenges how far the 'assessor unit standards' guide towards an effective curriculum and details the curriculum design and implementation processes of the Rhodes' course, which was considered to have promoted assessment innovation, despite initial resistance to change. The discussion is illustrated by course evaluation data as well as interview data with course participants.


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