Inspired by the current scholarship that indicates that, if used well, formative assessment and feedback can advance student’s learning, this paper explores the practices of feedback in formative assessment in Rwandan higher education, specifically at the University of Rwanda. The study used a qualitative approach with the aim of gaining lecturers’ and students’ perspectives on formative assessment and feedback; and exploring different ways formative assessment and feedback were practiced. Using data collected through interviews, student focus group discussions, and document analysis; the paper shows that formative assessment and feedback were understood in the context of binding prescription within the boundaries of limited description in academic regulations. Feedback was in most cases reduced to marks, and lecturers – who portrayed themselves as information providers, mastery checkers, and performance appraisers - were in full charge of all formative assessment efforts. The paper also shows that lack of clarity and feed forward instructions in too-much-delayed lecturers’ written feedback led students to just receive feedback and not use it to enhance their performance. Building on this study’s findings and on the existing literature, the paper suggests three important moves whereby a collaborative research-based approach that will bring together different stakeholders will help to move away from a single-sided approach to a multifaceted approach in both perception and practice of formative assessment and feedback at the University of Rwanda.
formative assessment, feedback, higher education, teaching, learning
BERNARD BAHATI, MATTI TEDRE, UNO FORS, EVODE MUKAMA (2016). Exploring Feedback Practices in Formative Assessment in Rwandan Higher Education: A multifaceted approach is needed. International Journal of Teaching and Education, Vol. IV(2), pp. 1-22. , DOI: 10.20472/TE.2016.4.2.001
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