|Teacher Education for Transformation: The Case of the University of the Western Cape, South Africa (CIE, 2002, 73 p.)|
|Chapter 3: The curriculum of the HDE programme|
One method of quality assurance employed on the HDE programme is the use of external examiners. The lecturers give mixed opinions about the effectiveness of external examiners feedback. One of the main concerns is that there is no consistent format of feedback from external examiners. This has resulted in different lecturers having different levels of feedback. Some lecturers indicated that a more uniform system of feedback from external examiners should be developed to optimise the benefits from such quality assurance methods.
A concern raised during the interviews with lecturers was the use of external markers. Due to the large number of students in certain courses it has often been necessary to employ external markers. However some lecturers felt that the markers do not undergo proper training. They expressed doubts whether this system will ensure consistency in the assessment process of student teachers.
Another important form of quality assurance is student evaluations. All lectures are expected to ask students to evaluate their courses but there is not always sufficient control that this is actually done.
A further, and very important, form of quality assurance is that of course reviews. Lecturers meet at intervals of 1 to 2 years to look at their courses and to discuss changes. An extensive review process of the HDE programme was held during 2000 and a number of recommendations for improving the course were given. These included doing more research into students backgrounds and developing the relationship with schools. At a curricular level, the recommendations included improving communication between subject method and Theory lecturers, enhancing academic skills development amongst students, improving teaching materials and addressing students fears and anxieties about Teaching Practice. In addition, course committees are in the process of being set up to review all sections of the course on an annual basis. These will comprise the lecturers concerned, student representation, experts from the field and academics from other universities.