Potentials and Challenges of Student Progress Portfolio Innovation Assessment for Quality in an ODL Context: A Case of The Open University of Tanzania
This paper aims at stimulating discussion on Students Progress Portfolio (SPP) Innovation in assessment. It analyses the potential and challenges of SPP as well as how it can be harnessed to improve assessment practices and its contribution to quality education. The paper is based on a recent qualitative research which used The Open University of Tanzania as a case study. The objectives of the study were to identify the knowledge of tutors and students on SPP innovation; analyse the information that student needed to fill in the SPP; and to examine the views of the students and tutors on SPP. Participants included: 23 students and 7 academic staff. Already filled 10 SPP forms were also analysed. The findings indicated that the potentials of SPP included that: it empowers students to participate in their own assessment; instils in students a desire to learn; enhances students’ better understanding of their learning skills and the need for improvement. SPP also allow tutors to identify gaps in students learning. The challenges found included: Lack/limited knowledge on SPP; discussions focused more on content rather than learning process. The conclusion was that SPP potentials outweighed challenges. The recommendations were that knowledge on SPP should be enhanced amongst students and teachers; SPP assessment should focus more on developing and improving students’ capacities for learning to learn; SPP should be graded; and there should be regular evaluation of tutors and students experiences with SPP.