Assessing prior learning in English business communication at a South African University of Technology

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    A case study on Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) was undertaken at a University of Technology (UoT) in South Africa, to determine whether the assessmentmethods used for the subject, ‘English Business Communication’, adhered to the principles and ethos of RPL. Focusing on 24 RPL applicants since 2010, the study used document analysis (written exams, questionnaire, oral interviews, portfolios of evidence), a focus group interview with previous applicants, and semi-structured interviews with three RPL assessors. The major findings indicated that: the applicants were not in favour of writing an exam paper, and would not like to be tested on theory; they preferred a combination of portfolio of evidence and oral interview. It is recommended that: RPL applicants be given some pre-application orientation; the RPL process timeframe be shortened; in-process feedback on applications be given to applicants; and, a toolkit be compiled to assist and orient applicants and assessors in future.