Assessment to support self-directed learning: the case of the NWU
Lombard, B.J.J. (Kobus)
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This paper revolved around the question: How could the North-West University (NWU) manoeuvre the alignment of assessment to support self-directed learning (SDL) to realise the goals as stated in its Teaching and Learning Strategy: 2016-2020? To respond to this question, a theoretical discourse was pursued in which assessment was defined, while the role of assessment in shaping learning, contemporary views on assessment, SDL and assessment that is fit for the purpose of supporting SDL were also considered. The theoretical discourse was followed by an operational exposition of possible actions the NWU could consider to align assessment to support SDL. Eight actions were proposed: embarking on an organisational assessment audit; initiating dedicated staff induction sessions; designating Faculties as change agents; promoting the establishment of communities of practice within Faculties; encouraging assessment reform through the scholarship of assessment; considering incentives for assessment reform; cultivating a culture of assessment connoisseurship and taking students on board. The paper concluded by highlighting possible challenges that the NWU could face towards the alignment of assessment to support self-directed learning.