The development and implementation of e-assessment as component of WIL : a case study
Considering the point that existing WIL programmes are somewhat amorphous and do not optimally utilise available technologies, the TUT decided to embrace a technology-based WIL framework for improving its WIL programmes. Inspired by the fact that assessment is fundamental to the success of any WIL programme, the researcher wanted to attend to e-assessment within the context of WIL. Hence, this study intended to identify and examine the factors that should be included in the development of e-assessment as component of WIL. In addition, it was also aimed at determining the resultant experiences, emanating from the determined factors, of the implementation of e-assessment as component of WIL. By conducting a literature and an empirical study, the purpose of the study was realised. Based on the literature study, the importance and relevance of WIL as authentic learning experience was described, while e-assessment was explained, discussed and justified within the context of WIL. For the empirical study, a sequential, embedded mixed-methods research design, anchored in an exploratory case study, was executed in two phases. In Phase 1, the factors that should be included in the development of e-assessment as component of WIL were determined by means of individual interviews with institutional WIL coordinators and a document study of relevant TUT documents. From the data obtained in this phase of the study, a prototype of e-assessment as component of WIL was developed and implemented. In Phase 2, online questionnaires and online individual interviews, supplemented by face-to-face focus group interviews, were used to uncover the experiences of workplace mentors and WIL students of the implementation of the prototype of e-assessment as component of WIL. The key findings of the empirical study confirmed that assessment is fundamental to the success of WIL. Although optimism about the implementation of e-assessment was revealed, the empirical data further indicated that a variety of factors needs to be considered for its successful implementation. Amongst others, it was suggested that e-assessment should be institutionally driven; that special care should be taken to ensure access to and availability of appropriate technology; that all stakeholders should be subjected to proper orientation and training regarding e-assessment, and that collaboration between the workplace and the academic institution should be improved. It was furthermore suggested that assessment tasks should meaningfully relate to the realities of the workplace; that the development of assessment tasks should be meticulously done and that such tasks should be regularly revised and that attention should be given to constructive feedback to enable student growth and development. By considering the experiences regarding the implementation of the prototype of e-assessment, a more sophisticated version was proposed. The study concluded by indicating its limitations and suggested areas for further research. In the final analysis it was resolved that this study laid the foundation for exploring e-assessment in the context of WIL more vigorously, since e-assessment shows remarkable potential to benefit students, academic departments and workplace environments.
- Education