Edited by Helen Walkington, Jennifer Hill and Sarah Dyer
Chapter 5: Measuring learning for the masses: assessment strategies for large classes
This chapter reflects on teaching practices within undergraduate geography courses at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. With learning goals which focus on understanding the complex relationships between people, the natural environment, and the non-human world, and the challenge of limited resources, the undergraduate curriculum requires students to demonstrate their learning through a variety of assessment tasks ranging from tests, essays, reflective journals, tutorial and practical work. The context of teaching is one comprised of large courses with enrolment of nearly 400 students in the first-year module GES111 ‘Introduction to Human Geography’ and 200 students in the second-year module GES225 ‘Space, Place and Mobility in Southern Africa’. This chapter demonstrates that assessment for large classes can be based in state-of-the-art teaching practice, and may be applicable in low-resourced environments while also addressing critical learning goals for students. This chapter discusses strategies such as peer evaluation, scaffolding, and both diagnostic and formative assessment using a variety of on-line learning platforms.
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