Volume 2 Number 5 May 2016

On Demand: Exploring the Potential of Electronic Feedback on Assessment Performance

Authors: Michael Snowden ; Ms Sue Daley-Yates ; Jamie P. Halsall
Pages: 90-99
This paper presents the findings from an evaluatory pedagogical project that utilised an ethnographic case study approach to examine factors influencing the use of online formative assessment and feedback within an undergraduate programme.
The project posed the questions: 
• What are the effects of introducing online formative assessment and feedback on learning and assessment performance? 
• How effective is online formative feedback in enhancing student success?
The study draws upon data collected from a sample of students (22) who volunteered to participate in the research over a period of one academic year. Data collection tools included: focus group interview, semi-structured questionnaire and student assessment data. The study demonstrates that formative feedback and assessment is beneficial for teaching and learning, and that electronic assessment can offer a more flexible approach that can complement f2f feedback. Online formative feedback in the context of this study had a positive effect upon academic performance and student satisfaction, and demonstrates that students find online formative feedback effective and meaningful. Whilst the small size of the sample influences generalizability, the findings agree with the wealth of literature surrounding formative assessment and the benefits that accrue to students from delivering effective feedback. In addition, evidence from participants in this study is reflected in reports such as the JISC guide: “Effective Assessment in a Digital Age” (2010) and the findings from the EBEAM Project (2012) (Ellis, 2012). 

Wither Higher Education in the Context of the Fees mustfall Campaign in South Africa

Authors: Anis Mahomed Karodia ; Dhiru Soni ; Paresh Soni
Pages: 76-89
The paper attempts to look at the current higher education crisis in South Africa in terms of the recent #FeesMustFall Campaign, embarked upon by higher education university students over the last several months and still continues unabated, in a country that seems to have lost its way. Civil unrest, strikes and protests in almost all sectors of the economy now permeates the political landscape of South Africa. This is an indictment to the democratic order, post 1994. As such, the paper will concentrate on the problems and challenges that confront South African higher education. It argues that education is a public good and therefore, a direct responsibility of government, given the heroic struggles of the masses from apartheid oppression and Bantustan education. Naturally, the paper argues further that, heirs of the revolutionary struggle are entitled to their rage. Tertiary education cannot remain limited to the few privileged in South Africa and, only radical action brings solutions. In other words student movements like it did, to challenge apartheid education, must be used to achieve the Freedom Charter’s vision. The Freedom Charter of the South African liberation struggle says that “the doors of learning must be open to all.” (The Freedom Charter, 1956).   On the other hand there is just no money to fund higher education because of the rampant corruption, faltering action plans and as such, it appears that the higher education dream has been deferred. The most recent #FeesMustFall campaign brings to reality that after 21 years of democracy South African politicians of the ruling party can no longer rely on their revolutionary credentials because, the time has come to deliver real change. The mass student revolt of recent times has been unprecedented in the history of democratic South Africa. Amongst a host of other issues, this narrative will show that the students have sent a powerful message to the ruling party that has taken South African people for granted. Protesting students therefore, require the nation’s unreserved support. The paper will therefore attempt to talk to a host of issues as concerns higher education in South Africa. 

Factors of Quality Education Enhancement: Review on Higher Education Practices in Bangladesh

Authors: Mohammad Abul Kashem
Pages: 68-75
To maintain equality in higher education level both in private and public universities are very diverse both in function and in nature in Bangladesh. Quality teaching Initiatives and go-long-maintenance-and-continuation are basically an interesting issue in higher education landscape and found enormous difficulty with increasing diversity in the factors’ influence. The study focused on the factors by which effective teaching quality be enhanced in higher education level along with considerations for perfection in teaching methodology. This paper determines the research area of critical success factors of quality enhancement and assurance in higher education level which has potential to be explored and generate new knowledge, to improve the quality education practices and outcome. By using Factor Analysis and ranking of the factors, it   has found that Teacher’s Distinctiveness, Human Resources Development, Teaching Approach and Quality of Teachers, Interpersonal and Pedagogy Skills are worth considerable to determine appropriateness in ensuring quality in higher education level.