Alternative quality assessment practices in Lesotho
Khaahloe, 'Matselane Belina
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The focus of this study is on the quality of assessment practices in assessing student achievement in institutions of higher education in Lesotho. The purpose of the study was to investigate the quality of assessment practices in assessing student achievement, and also to determine the extent to which alternative assessment practices are used in institutions of higher education in Lesotho. Five institutions were selected to take part in the research. The design of the research is a descriptive survey. The study further employs a multi-method approach, within which quantitative and qualitative methods are combined. A literature study was undertaken to provide the background and the context of the problem. The empirical study employed a survey in which separate questionnaires for students and lecturers were compiled. The questionnaires were used to gather data on the quality of assessment practices and the extent to which alternative assessment is used in higher education in Lesotho. Interviews were also used to determine the initiatives of the Lesotho government in improving the quality of assessment in institutions of higher education in this country. Three instructional leaders from the selected institutions of higher education were interviewed. Pilot studies were carried out to test the clarity and feasibility of both the questionnaires and the interview protocol. Request to conduct the research study was sought and permission was granted. The Department of Statistics at the University of Free State assisted with the analysis of the quantitative data collected through student and lecturer questionnaires, while the researcher analysed the qualitative data collected through the interviews held with Lesotho government officials from the higher education sector. The study has uncovered that the quality of assessment practices in institutions of higher education is satisfactory in some aspects, while in others quality is not acceptable. It has also been revealed that the use of alternative assessment is very limited in institutions of higher education in Lesotho. The quality of assessment practices need to be maintained, enhanced and continuously improved to meet the emerging contexts. It was concluded that the use of alternative assessment practices can enhance the quality of assessment in higher education in Lesotho.
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