Title page for ETD etd-09282005-162142

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author De Jager, Annette
URN etd-09282005-162142
Document Title An integrated and holistic approach to assessment in outcome-based learning in South Africa
Degree PhD (Computer-assisted Education)
Department Teaching and Training Studies
Advisor Name Title
Prof J C Cronje Committee Chair
  • competency based education
  • educational tests and measurements
Date 2003-09-01
Availability unrestricted
Bloom (1956) states that learning is the permanent change in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of a learner. Considering that learners have different learning styles and educators have different teaching methodologies, the question that I have been paying special attention to since I started teaching is: "How do I know that learning has really taken place?"

The only way to determine if learning has taken place, i.e. whether there is a permanent change in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of the learner, is to measure the learning. The conventional measuring tools in a content-based education system are tests and examinations. This approach often results in a tendency towards awarding learners with a once-off qualification and not necessarily providing them with the academic and life skills needed to enter the workplace. Although outcome-based education creates the opportunity to change the product-driven and rote learning measuring in content-based education to the process-driven and authentic assessment of learning in outcome-based education, the question of whether learning has really taken place still exists. The focus of this study is therefore the assessment of learning in outcome-based education to confirm that learning has really taken place.

This study comprises of action research of six cycles of one year each (1997 - 2002) and pertains to changing the Further Diploma in Education (Computer-assisted Education) qualification as presented by the University of Pretoria, from a content-based (1997 - 1998) into an outcome-based education approach (1999 - 2002). What initially seemed to be an easy task in 1999, turned out to be a complex challenge to discover all the aspects contributing to the successful implementation of outcome-based assessment of learning South African education, training and development.

The findings of the study indicate that is not possible simply to convert evaluation in content-based learning into assessment in outcome-based learning. Outcome-based learning is a totally different way of doing and it takes time to make an internal mind-change as well as a change that can be observed externally. It also reveals that it is not possible to eliminate content-based learning in favour of outcome-based learning. There is a place for both and both are imperative to the needs of learners.

The complex problem of assessment in outcome-based learning has no straightforward solution. It can only be stated that if all aspects are considered, there is a fair chance to end up with a permanent change in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills of a person, i.e. that learning has taken place. There is a real need for information on the following aspects to be considered in an integrated and holistic approach to assessment of learning in outcome-based education: ~ The governmental policy and current educational philosophy

~ The design, development and implementation of the learning programme

~ The facilitation of learning

~ The portfolio of evidence of learning

~ The quality assurance of the assessment of learning

This study is only an introductory study and more research needs to be done regarding assessment of learning in outcome-based education in South Africa.

Copyright 2002, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

De Jager, A, 2002, An integrated and holistic approach to assessment in outcome-based learning in South Africa, PhD (Computer-assisted Education) thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/ etd-09282005-162142/>

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