Session details: 12 April, 13:00-15:00, venue- A28, A-block, North Campus


The Roundtable discussion platform aim to provide a platform for participants to share their “vision” and ideas for the future of assessment in health sciences education.


The first session for 2024 was designed to present and share some of the innovative assessment strategies academics implement in the Faculty of Health Sciences, prompting discussion around what is feasible and what can be done outside of tradition assessment methods. Assessment plays a vital role in L&T, yet present significant pedagogical challenges. It holds the power to influence a student's perception and attitude towards learning, their curriculum and how they view their career development (Ozan & Kincal, 2018). Assessment is designed to rigorously measure the extent to which students have met the learning outcomes and gives us insight into the quality of the educational experience (Rawlusyk,2018). Society evolves constantly and holds a vision for the kind of education that will benefit them. This impacts the graduate attributes students need for the world of work and they often must make quick decisions in complex situations while navigating evolving technologies. Innovative assessment strategies allow students to play an active role, develop a deeper understanding of their own learning processes, and as Zacharis (2010) suggest can be seen as part of a deliberate process of bringing change in the educational space. As a faculty, we embrace the notion of change.  

The short descriptions from the presenters of the first roundtable speak to the innovation they are building into their assessment practices.  We envisage more of these discussions to engage with each other and stimulate the ongoing changes of our curriculums.    

Ozan, C., & Kıncal, R. Y. (2018). The effects of formative assessment on academic achievement, attitudes toward the lesson, and self-regulation skills. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 18, 85–118. http://dx.doi.org/10.12738/estp.2018.1.0216

Rawlusyk, P.E. (2018). Assessment in Higher Education and Student Learning. Journal of Instructional Pedagogies, 21, 1-34.

Zacharis, N. Z. (2010). Innovative Assessment For Learning Enhancement: Issues and Practices. Contemporary Issues In Education Research. 2(1), 61-69

Programme for the day

Faculty of Health Sciences: Learning and Teaching Directorate
Roundtable: Health Sciences Innovative Assessment Strategies
12 April 2024, 13:00-15:00
13:00-13:10 Welcoming and opening remarks
13:10-13:20 Speaker 1: Mrs C Whittle
13:20-13:35 Roundtable
13:35-13:45 Speaker 2: Mr D Brink
13:45-14:00 Roundtable
14:00 – 14:10 TEA
14:10-14:20 Speaker 3: Dr R van der Venter
14:20-14:35 Roundtable
14h35 – 15h00 Reflection and way forward

Key Takeaway from the presentations for the day

As the short descriptions of assessment methods presented indicate, the assessment methods were diverse, however the common thread was student engagement.

Short descriptions: 


Mrs Carmen Whittle

Contract lecturer: Environmental Health

Reflective praxis is a necessary skill for all health professionals. The skill of critically reflecting on one's own experiences and actions to learn and grow through the examination of past experiences, thoughts on topics and ways of doing things in relation to new knowledge gained is crucial in self-development.

This reflective journal assessment was introduced at second year level. The goal of the reflective journal is to highlight learning about oneself and the topic or situation, and to bring meaning to it. It also challenges the status quo of practice, thoughts and assumptions and may therefore inform decisions, actions, attitudes, beliefs and understanding about ourselves and in this instance community development and the diverse issues that must be taken into consideration within the environmental health profession.

This electronic reflective journal assessment created an opportunity for dual discovery; the opportunity is created for the lecturer to assess the teaching methods employed and the level of understanding of the students as they progress through the different units in the module. It focuses on two elements of the lecture: the theoretical content and the lecture activity. This is accomplished by the students having a platform to weekly evaluate the quality and success of their learning, enabling them to identify areas that need more attention and setting goals and action plans in motion.  It not only assists students in engaging with concepts and points raised in class discussions but also serves as a creative repository for them to capture important points for preparation for topic specific assessments. In reflecting on their lecture experience the lecturer can gauge the level of success of the teaching activity and implement strategies to reinforce learning areas that are challenging.




Mr Daniel Brink

Lecturer: Emergency Medical Care

In this presentation, we explored how we've used digital tools and creative teaching methods to help teachers work together better and get students more involved in their learning. We'll focus on how we've used Microsoft Teams to make Work Integrated Learning (WIL) experiences easier for both educators and students.

We found that Microsoft Teams has some great features that can really help us out. The Shifts tool, for example, makes it easy for us to schedule and book student placements. And the online spreadsheets within Teams let students keep track of their shifts and the new skills they're developing. We've also found that Microsoft Forms is super useful in getting students to reflect on their shifts by sharing summaries and reflections.

To assess student performance and provide feedback, we created a gradebook in Teams. This central system helps us manage and evaluate student submissions, like assignments and reports. We even added a marking rubric to make sure our assessments were consistent and efficient. And you know what? It worked! In the first term alone, we successfully handled 518 student shift reflections from 78 students.

By bringing together these digital tools and resources, we've managed to create a learning environment where lecturer and students can collaborate, engage, and learn effectively. Our approach shows just how powerful technology can be in transforming the learning experience.

So, to sum up, we've learned that using versatile platforms like Microsoft Teams can really help us streamline our work, get students involved, and improve how we assess learning. By embracing technology, we can create dynamic, engaging, and efficient learning experiences that truly meet the needs of today's learners.




Dr Riaan van de Venter

Lecturer, Department of Radiography

Image analysis and interpretation is a basic skill that radiographers need. This skill needs to be developed in the classroom as well as during workplace learning. However, this is a complex skill, and it takes time to develop it. The majority of student struggle with this aspect (it is even challenging for many qualified radiographers). To assist students to develop this skill a photo essay (i.e., a collection of images that work together to tell a story) and checklist (i.e., an assessment tool that lists the specific criteria that should be evaluated to show successful completion of a topic/learning goal) formative assessment is used.

This not only assists in reinforcing learning of the theoretical concepts but also serves as a reference tool to be used in preparation for practice self-directed and class activities as well as theoretical and clinical summative assessments. Of note is that the instructions to students must be very clear and using a dialogic approach to writing the instructions is useful.

In addition, it is imperative to underscore why this formative assessment is important to the students so that they can invest the necessary time and effort in completing the task.



Participant Feedback

The following represent the feedback we received from people who participated:

  • How to ensure involvement/implementation of innovative assessments for those colleagues that did not attend but are only implementing traditional assessments.
  • Discussions were informative and this type of assessments “prepare our students for what is happening in the real world”
  • A very good platform to get good ideas”.
    “Looking forward to the next one”.
  • It is very stimulating to listen to colleagues’ ways of doing this, I have gathered a lot of ideas”. Ethics - an issue that prevents such presentations to be written up as journal articles.


Participant suggestions

We note the following suggestions made by participants and are integrating this into our future planning.

  • a platform other than face-to-face workshops to share knowledge and ideas.
  • “Let’s do more, but with more time”.
  • Similar topic for larger classes.
  • Four-hour sessions- to have deeper and more discussion.
  • Another workshop, with more time allocated to further unpack ideas.
  • “More of the same”.