Students’ acceptance and perceptions of online assessments post- COVID-19 pandemic: A case of Community Extension students at a historically disadvantaged institution
Keywords:Community Extension university students, COVID-19, historically disadvantaged universities, online assessments
Traditionally, research has shown poor uptake and acceptance of non-traditional assessments. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, necessitated a drastic shift towards online assessments and negated the practicality of traditional assessments. The acceptance of online assessments by university students enrolled in historically disadvantaged higher education institutions is currently underresearched. To address this gap, the Technological Acceptance Model (TAM) is employed as a theoretical framework to examine the acceptance of online assessments and identify barriers to their adoption. The study used a quantitative research design and data were collected through an online questionnaire distributed via ®Microsoft Teams, the university’s Learning Management System (LMS). Descriptive and inferential data analysis was conducted using a combination of Microsoft Excel and JASP version 0.16.1.0. A total of 83 second and third-year students registered with the Department of Community Extension participated in the study. The results showed that 42% (n=35) of students found online assessments difficult to complete. Anxiety during the assessment was prevalent in 57% (n=47) of the students. Forty percent (n=50) of the students indicated that online assessments improved academic performance. The percentage of students that still preferred face-to-face invigilated tests over online assessments was also 40% (n=33). The results indicate that online assessments were accepted by students in historically disadvantaged institutions. However, results emphasised the need for the implementation of effective measures to maintain academic integrity, mitigate technical challenges and the provision of training and support to reduce anxiety among students caused by assessments.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Ntombenhle Ndlovu, Dr PR Gumede, Dr S Mthimkhulu
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