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Good Assessment Practices in Higher Education seminar

Students not only need the standard reading and maths skills to survive in today’s world, but sufficient ammunition in their arsenal such as life skills to enable them to face and conquer what has become a very challenging, complex and competitive world. This has made assessments an extremely vital part of teaching and learning. The Association of African Universities (AAU) hoping to tackle this issue, teamed up with Strathmore University for a workshop on good assessment practices in higher education, focusing on three issues: aligning outcomes, instruction and assessment. The four-day event was held on the Strathmore University campus from 6th to 9th August 2019. The workshop was inaugurated by Strathmore University Vice Chancellor designate Vincent Ogutu.

AAU hopes to equip teaching faculty in higher education with the essential skills and knowledge needed when dealing with students’ assessments; this will generate substantial development in coaching and learning. The training course included various modules, namely: aligning assessments with teaching approaches and outcomes, test format, test construction, test administration, test score analysis, grading practices and feedback systems. The workshop itinerary was covered through direct lectures, case studies, demonstrations and other forms of constructive presentation.

A senior lecturer at the Institute of Education, University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana, Dr. Eric Anane facilitated the proceedings. He emphasized the importance of analysis. “Testing in assessments is the main tool to determine what students have understood and learned; therefore it is an area that needs to be improved on,” he said. “These workshops, are run to focus on change. When people realise that there are some flaws in the system, then workshops such as these will help alter these shortcomings.” Dr Anane further said universities should make a point of training their teaching staff on assessments. “Assessment is a skill that should be developed. If an assessment is not done in the right way, it narrows the knowledge gap of the students.”

University of Eastern Africa Baraton lecturer, Willy Kemboi, said the workshop was an eye-opener for him and he was ready to go and implement the strategies he had learned as the knowledge obtained was a critical process of higher education. Each participant received a certificate of merit at the end of the workshop. Other than Kenya’s higher education lecturers, others from South Africa, Ghana, and Nigeria were also present for the seminar. The AAU has held over twenty identical workshops in Africa.


This article was written by Stephen Mariru

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