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Exploring how assessment practices in an engineering context influence student learning

SASEE Grant Project

Period: January 2018 – January 2019

Project Leader: Teresa Hattingh (

Project Collaborators: 

  • Laura Dison – Wits School of Education
  • Laurie Woolacott – Wits School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering

Project Aim/Objectives:

To investigate, in an engineering context, how lecturers design and execute assessment, how these assessment practices shape student learning and to make recommendations for engineering assessment design that can lead to more effective student learning.

This study explores assessment practices in an engineering school where student success rates are frequently lower than expected using a student survey, lecturer interviews and student focus groups. The study revealed that in a South African context, a more collectivist approach is needed to think about how students learn and adapt to environments to facilitate deeper engagement. Valuable insights are provided that can transform assessment practices in engineering education contexts.

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