Alternative classroom assessment practices in Tanzania: the case of secondary school biology teachers in Songea municipality

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University of Dar es Salaam
The study investigated Biology teachers’ alternative assessment practices in Songea municipality. It identified teachers’ perceptions on alternative assessment, types of assessment used by teachers, the extent to which students are involved in the assessment process and challenges facing teachers in implementation of alternative assessment. The study employed mixed research approach and in particular employed descriptive survey design. Stratified random sampling technique was used to obtain 144 students from eighteen (18) schools which included private and government owned schools. Purposive sampling technique was used to obtain 31 Biology teachers and (18) academic teachers. The study used questionnaires, interview and observation to obtain respective data. Data analysis used descriptive statistical analysis for quantitative data while content analysis was used for qualitative data. The study found that teachers perceived classroom assessment as tests that teacher gave at the end of the topic or at the end of a lesson. However, most teachers acknowledged that alternative assessment were useful in teaching and learning of biology. Findings also revealed that classroom assessment were still dominated by paper and pencil strategies such as tests and quizzes. This was attributed to the facts that teachers lack skills and knowledge in using alternative assessment, lack of time for developing and grading of alternative assessment, and lack of resources on alternative assessment. Furthermore, the findings showed that, procedures that involve students in the assessment process such as self and peer assessment were rarely employed. The study recommends that; MoEVT had to empower teachers by giving professional development training to enable the introduced assessment strategies in the new syllabus like portfolio, peer and self assessment are well implemented by teachers. Also, teachers are obliged to involve students in assessment process through peer and self assessment.
Available in printed form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark ( THS EAF QH320 .T34N456)
Teachers, Biology, Study and teaching, Evaluation, Secondary schools, Songea municipality, Tanzania
Ngong`ole, I. H (2012) Alternative classroom assessment practices in Tanzania: the case of secondary school biology teachers in Songea municipality, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.