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      Open Learning as a Means of Advancing Social Justice: Cases in Post-School Education and Training in South Africa 

      Exploring the possibilities and constraints of online assessment to advance open learning in a South African TVET college : A social justice perspective

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      African Minds

      African Minds

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          Abstract

          South Africa’s Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has put forward ‘open learning’ as an educational approach to addressing issues of access and success in the post-school education and training sector. This chapter investigates the possibilities and limitations of online assessment to advance DHET’s open learning agenda in the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sector. Adopting a social justice lens, this chapter explores how online assessment has the potential to encourage as well as constrain ‘parity of participation’ (Fraser,1995) from an economic, cultural and political perspective. A small empirical study involving interviews with four staff members from Tshwane North TVET College’s Open Learning Unit and four students is employed to illuminate the themes of social justice. The findings indicate that online assessment has the potential to aid economic justice by creating the conditions for working individuals to improve their qualifications whilst working, but lack of access to material resources, such as suitable technologies and data, can be a deterrent. Culturally, in relation to pedagogy, the findings illustrate the potential for online assessment to support learning by providing immediate feedback and creating opportunities for self-assessment, although academic integrity surfaces as a major concern. Politically, the findings indicate how a lack of national policy can hinder the successful operationalisation of online assessment at the course and institutional level. The chapter highlights the need to develop policies that correspond with the philosophies and practices of online assessment and open learning. It proposes that principles of open learning, combined with the affordances of online assessment, allows for an opportunity to explore different modes of assessments fromthe fit-for-purpose perspective.

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          Book
          978-1-928502-42-5
          31 March 2022
          10.47622/9781928502425

          Published under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International ( CC BY 4.0). Users are allowed to share (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format) and adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially), as long as the authors and the publisher are explicitly identified and properly acknowledged as the original source.

          Page count
          Pages: 408
          Book Chapter
          31 March 2022
          : 131-151
          10.47622/9781928502425_6

          Published under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International ( CC BY 4.0). Users are allowed to share (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format) and adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially), as long as the authors and the publisher are explicitly identified and properly acknowledged as the original source.

          The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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