False Bay College

2014

Learning Through Competition

Technology as a tool for top assessments

The shift in recent years towards learner centred classrooms combined with regular assessments to facilitate learning outcomes is shaping the academic environment.

Beyond providing teachers with opportunities to notice gaps in learning, academic assessments cultivate a spirit of competition amongst learners.

The Curriculum and Assessment Policy of 2011 prescribes that the main objective in teaching and learning is that education should be learner-centred in the classroom.

This alone is a clear indication that teachers should facilitate while learners gain knowledge through their participation and involvement in class activities and learner objectives.

Whilst learners are encouraged to study their books and complete the task activities, it is only by the end of the term when the teacher is able to clearly identify the foundational gaps experienced by learners.  This happens once examinations have been conducted.  Results are then viewed as a determinant of learner competency against specific learning outcomes.

Academic competitions on the other hand encourage an integrative learning atmosphere where learners are consistently engaged with their learning material.

Facilitated by technology, such as the Mimio Vote Clicker System used by False Bay College, learners are encouraged to engage with the material in real time.

Furthermore the duration of learning activities is reduced by almost 80% compared to the traditional way of conducting assessments using a workbook and pen.  

The results of the assessments are immediately made available at the end of each activity and statistical analysis helps determine variants such as the class pass rate, learner pass rate, learner response and response level in terms of marks obtained.

Learners need to be encouraged to participate in this learning methodology, and it is the responsibility of the teachers to strategise and develop methods to make education learner-centred.

Using technology this way to impart knowledge has proven very effective with learners benefiting from the competitive and engaging nature of ongoing assessments.