Teaching and Assessment through Online Platforms during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Benefits and Challenges
- Assessment strategies, COVID-19, Higher Institution, Lecturer, Online platforms, Teaching strategies.
How to Cite
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled education systems across the globe to fully embrace online learning as an alternative to face-to-face classes. This has resulted in a paradigm shift, in which online teaching and assessment practices continue to gain prominence at the tertiary level. Hence, this study explores lecturers' teaching and assessment strategies for teaching university students through online platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study has used a framework of SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats) analysis as its theoretical base. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews with five lecturers from three universities in Gauteng Province, South Africa. The collected data was analysed using content analysis. This study found that lecturers were able to manage the teaching and assessment processes during the COVID-19 school restrictions, using a combination of platforms such as Blackboard-collaborate, WhatsApp, Kahoot, and Google Classroom. The findings also revealed that a wide variety of teaching and assessment methodologies, including small group work, collaborative learning, case methods, discussion posts, multiple choice quizzes, chats, game activities, open-ended questions, and essays were utilized on these platforms. Although the methodologies used for teaching and assessing on these platforms require additional preparation time, they also help increase interaction between students and enable immediate grading of scripts and student feedback. Further findings revealed that online assessment is highly susceptible to test/examination malpractices. This study provided recommendations helpful to policymakers, lecturers, and students regarding online teaching and assessment strategies.