School Based Assessment in Business Studies

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Chapter Two – Business Studies in the FET Phase


The focus of this chapter will be on analysing the characteristics of OBE (outcomesbased education) as an assessment system, as conceptualised by Spady (1993:1), as well as looking at the structure of the FET phase in general, with the role of Business Studies as a subject in particular. In so doing it is necessary to look at the demands of the subject at present, and the challenges that have arisen due both to the changes within the subject, as well as the changing profile of learners choosing it in the FET phase. The changes from an Educator-centred, segregated, content-based educational system to a learner-centred, integrated, SKAV-based system have necessitated a radical change in Business Studies as a subject at the FET level (Topper 2006).Originally called Business Economics, and based on office management theory,Business Studies is now a dynamic and relevant curriculum that is teaching skills such as problem-solving, creative thinking and strategic management (Nel 2004).

OBE as an Educational System

Spady (1993:6), acknowledged as the father of OBE, defines it as follows:
“Outcomes-based education means to start with a framework and a set of expectations about the desired learning results”. He goes on to say that the curriculum and organisational forms can then be built in order to give the learner the opportunity to achieve the desired results. These expectations are presented in the form of “outcomes”, which Spady (1993:4) defines as “an actual demonstration in an authentic context”. An important shift from the old view of education is that these outcomes are clearly defined and require the learner to attain a specified standard, rather than to stay at school for a predetermined number of years (Nel 2004). Johnstone (2008) explains why this is necessary when he quotes Alvin Toffler’s comment: “… the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” Spady is firmly of the opinion that, in order for OBE to be successful, the systems around it – at classroom, school and legislative level – have to undergo significant change (Spady in Van Niekerk & Killen 2000:93). Toddun (2000:23) emphasise the fact that such change must be pre-empted by a paradigm shift – which she quotes Dalin and Rust defining as “a major change in the way realities are thought
about and explained”. Spady (1993:10) goes as far as saying that this shift needs to be on a scale of transformational change in order to keep up with the rapid development in the world around us. In practical terms, this shift needs to be from Educator-centred teaching to learner-centred learning, driven by specified outcomes, not arbitrary assessment of tasks (Nel 2004).

Principles of OBE

It is important to note that there is no single, authoritative model for OBE, but rather a distinctive character of assessment that emerges when Educators apply the principles of OBE. According to Spady (1993:32) these ‘Power Principles of OBE’ (which will be discussed briefly) are:
i. Clarity of focus and defined outcomes
ii. Expanded opportunity
iii. High expectations
iv. Design down

Clarity of Focus

If all educational action is going to be focused on outcomes, it is essential to ensure that outcomes of significance are formulated (Spady 1993:15) so that authentic assessment is achieved. Transparency is important here, so that the learner knows exactly what is expected and can aim for the achievement of that outcome. The pure assessment of content-based knowledge is now expanded by including other skills and aspects as designated by the outcomes (Gouws 2007:66).

Table of Contents 
Table of Figures 
Table of Tables
List of Appendices
List of Acronyms
Chapter 1 – Introduction 
1.1 Introduction 
1.2 Awareness of the Problem
1.2.1 General Awareness
1.2.2 Personal Awareness
1.3 Exploration and Formulation of the Problem
1.4 Statement of the Research Problem 
1.5 Aims of the Study 
1.5.1 Specific Aim
1.5.2 Indirect Aims
1.6 Definition of Concepts
1.7 Methods of Research
1.8 Research Programme
Chapter Two – Business Studies in the FET Phase 
2.1 Introduction
2.2 OBE as an Educational System 
2.2.1 Principles of OBE
2.2.2 International Development of OBE
2.2.3 OBE in South Africa
2.2.4 Curriculum 2005 (C2005)
2.2.5 Organisations Underpinning Assessment in SA
2.2.6 OBE Terminology
2.2.7 Summary of the Major Changes
2.3 The FET Phase 
2.3.1 Problems Specific to the FET Phase
2.3.2 The Importance of the FET Phase
2.3.3 Future Development of the FET Phase
2.4 The effect of OBE on Business Studies as a Subject
2.4.1 Previous Dispensation – Business Economics
2.4.2 New Dispensation – Business Studies
2.5 The Business Studies Learner in the FET
2.5.1 Changing Learner Profiles in General
2.5.2 Changing Learner Profiles in Business Studies
2.5.3 Grade 12 Learners of 2008
2.5.4 Influence of South African Labour Law on Learners
2.6 Conclusion 
Chapter 3 – Assessment in Outcomes-based Education and the IEB 
3.1 Introduction 
3.2 The History of Assessment in Education
3.2.1 Home Schooling
3.2.2 The Birth of Formal Education and Assessment
3.2.3 Industrial Revolution
3.2.4 World Wars
3.2.5 Post 1945 – pre-OBE Education Internationally
3.2.6 Post 1945 – pre-OBE Education in South Africa
3.2.7 Outcomes-based Education (OBE)
3.3 The Concept of Assessment in Outcomes-based Education 
3.3.1 Assessment FOR Learning
3.3.2 Assessment Practice in South Africa
3.3.3 Dangers of Ineffective Assessment Practice
3.3.4 Assessment for Individual Learners
3.3.5 Ethical Considerations in Education
3.4 The Role of the IEB in South African Education and Assessment
3.4.1 Brief History of the IEB
3.4.2 Current Position of IEB
3.4.3 Contribution of the IEB to Assessment in SA
3.4.4 Quality Assurance of the IEB
3.4.5 The IEB Going Forward
3.5 Conclusion 
Chapter 4 – School Based Assessment in Business Studies
4.1 Introduction 
4.2 Research Design
4.2.1 Research Question
4.2.2 Research Design
4.3 School Based Assessment (SBA) 
4.3.1 Introduction
4.3.2 Evidence of SBA
4.3.3 Reasoning for the Introduction of Portfolios
4.4 The Role of the Educator in Portfolio Assessment
4.4.1 The Educator as Assessor
4.4.2 Assessor Training
4.4.3 Time Pressures Around Assessing
4.4.4 Staff Morale
4.5 Assessment Issues 
4.5.1 Types of SBA
4.5.2 Syllabus versus Curriculum
4.5.3 Assessment Methods
4.5.4 Assessment Tools
4.5.5 Assessment Resources
4.5.6 Assessment Materials
4.5.7 Other Assessment Issues
4.6 Conclusion
Chapter 5 – Empirical Research: Case Study – Business Studies Portfolio Moderation in the IEB 
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Time-line: Preparation for First NSC Examination – 2008
5.2.1 Early Business Economics Portfolio Moderation
5.2.2 Business Studies Portfolios
5.3 IEB Supporting Structures
5.3.1 Assessment Specialists
5.3.2 Examination Panels
5.3.3 Cluster Groups
5.3.4 Regional Groups
5.3.5 National Subject Forums (NSF)
5.3.6 Annual National Conferences
5.4 IEB Processes for Introduction of OBE 
5.4.1 Core Skills Testing
5.4.2 International Benchmarking Tests in English, Mathematics and Science.
5.4.3 Exemplars
5.4.4 Educator Training
5.4.5 Subject Assessment Guidelines (SAG)
5.5 Quality Assurance (QA) 
5.6 Moderation
5.6.1 Moderation Requirements
5.6.2 Assessment Principles
5.6.3 Moderation Structures
5.7 Summary of Researcher’s Role in the Process
5.8 Conclusion 
Chapter 6 – Summary, Conclusions and Reference List 
6.1 Introduction 
6.2 Purpose of the Research
6.3 Methods of Research 
6.3.1 Literature Study
6.3.2 The Empirical Study
6.4 Results of the Literature and Empirical Studies 
6.5 Limitations of this Research 
6.6 Recommendations for Further Research
6.6.1 Recommendations Specific to Business Studies
6.6.2 Recommendations for the FET Band
6.7 Conclusion 
Reference List 
Website Reference List 
Appendices A -D

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