South African Journal of Higher Education

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Exploring the validity of the continuous assessment strategy in higher education institutions

PAP Nair, J Pillay


Higher education institutions in South Africa are confronted with the mammoth task of producing improved throughput rate or face reduced revenue due to subsidy cuts. Because of the tremendous backlog accumulated from the past educational system, the Government had to introduce stringent measures in the spending of the scarce resources that was intended for the varied needs in higher education. As science and technological development is the backbone of economic empowerment, the country cannot afford to be non-productive because of the high failure rate and reduced throughput rate in its higher education institutions. All stakeholders are engaged in finding the means and ways to improve the state of affairs. The advent of Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) provides unique opportunities to experiment and discover new methods and mechanisms to achieve better throughput rates in key subject areas such as mathematics and science. This article outlines how a Continuous Assessment (CASS) mechanism introduced in the second year mathematics for civil engineering students at Technikon Witwatersrand could attain the desired goals.

South African Journal of Higher Education Vol.18(2) 2004: 302-312
AJOL African Journals Online