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Question One

What principles best define curriculum evaluation in TVET?

Norm-reference and criterion-reference are principles or points of reference which are employed in evaluating student’s performance in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). The TVET teacher should select point of reference he would use in determining which students have successfully completed the training programme or a portion of the training programmes.

In norm-referenced evaluation, each student is compared to other students on the basis of test scores. Norm-referenced evaluation employs “the normal curve” in assigning grades to students. The primary concern of norm-referenced evaluation is discrimination, that is separating student who obtain high scores on a certain attribute from students whose score is low.

In criterion-referenced evaluation, there is no comparism between students. Each student’s work is evaluated based on an established standard which is called the criterion or criteria. It is significant in TVET since it aims at preparing persons for employment requiring specialized skills.

Norm-referenced evaluation is better employed when the primary purpose of evaluation is to make comparison between students and determine who is better than others at performing a certain skilled job. Criterion-referenced evaluation however, is better when the evaluator is interested in finding out which of a group of students have attained job entry level skills in a certain occupation and which have not.

Question 2

What curriculum evaluation models are most effective for TVET?

An evaluation model may be regarded as a set of steps or a system of thinking which if followed will result in the generation of information which can be used by decision makers in the improvement of educational programmes.

Specifically, evaluation in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) intends to serve the following purposes:

· For decision making

· To use its result for accreditation of programme

· To serve as data for good planning

· To improve school-community relationship

· For improvement and expansion

There are various types of evaluation models in TVET. Some of these models are:

i. Goal oriented model

ii. Goal free model

iii. Decision based model

iv. Developmental stages model etc

At this juncture, we may now identify a decision based evaluation model and a goal oriented model as most effective evaluation models like the type developed by the Kentucky Vocational Education Evaluation Model. This model was developed for use in evaluating vocational education programmes by the Kentucky Vocational Education Coordinating Unit, USA (Denton, 1973) but can be used with or without any modification in evaluating any TVET programme in Nigeria.

The first step is the assessment of the need of the community. What is available, what is lacking and what is needed. Next is the development of a viable philosophy which is followed by the writing of objectives for the programme. Without clearly stated objectives it would be difficult to say with certainty if the educational programme is successful or not.

Both objectives and evaluative criteria lead to input evaluation, process evaluation and product evaluation. Input evaluation refers to the components e.g. the curriculum, classrooms, laboratories etc. Process evaluation may be viewed as the evaluation of the teaching process, while the product evaluation is an evaluation of the products of the educational process, the graduates of the programme themselves.

Question 3:

What criteria should be used to develop a curriculum evaluation in TVET?

Curriculum evaluation is the collection and use of information for decision making about an educational programme. It is the process of finding out how far the learning experiences so developed and organized are actually producing the desired result. It also identify the strength and weaknesses of the plans which will help check the validity of the basic hypothesis upon which the instructional materials programme have been organized and developed.

In TVET, the criteria used to develop a curriculum evaluation may include all the characteristics which the evaluation instruments should possess. These are validity, reliability, objectivity, practicality and appropriateness.

Validity refers to an instrument’s truthfulness, reliability to its consistency and practicality to its usability and appropriateness refers to its ability to yield adequate information.

Question 4

How can learning experiences be organized for effective instruction in TVET?

Tyler (1949) in Maduwesi et al (2010) defines learning experiences as the interaction between the learner and the external conditions in the environment to which he can react.

In selecting learning experiences the following criteria are necessary:

i. Practice: Learning should be designed to allow practice of behavior that the objectives suggest.

ii. Validity: Learning experiences provided in school should be such that those experiences provided are closely connected with the desired or stated objectives

iii. Comprehensiveness: This ensures that all objectives stated should have corresponding experiences

iv. Suitability: Learning experiences provided should be appropriate and suitable to the student level

v. Variety: Variety is the spice of life. The school should offer a wide range of experiences in order to cater for its students needs.

Furthermore, the way in which learning experiences are organized greatly affect achievement of desired objectives changes in learners’ way of thinking, in attitudes, in fundamental habits, in abiding interest and the likes develop slowly. No single learning experiences has a very profound influence upon the learners but by cumulation of educational experiences profound changes are brought about in the learner.

So, for these educational experiences to have cumulative effect, with respect to TVET they must be organized as to reinforce each other. With particular reference to TVET as a competency based skills acquisition programme, organization of learning experiences is very important in planning instruction. It influences efficiency of instruction and the degree to which major educational changes are brought about in learners.

Question 5

How can the effectiveness of learning experiences in TVET be evaluated?

There are many ways of assessing the performance of a student within the context of TVET curriculum. Some of these are listed as follows: Examination, Test, Quiz, Technical or Team paper, Project, Practical task, Seminar, Dissertation and Thesis.

There are also three types of assessment: terminal assessment, periodic assessment and continuous assessment. Many institutions all over the world are in favour of continuous assessment because it gives a chance to do an evaluation of the progress of the student from start to finish. A type of feed back consists of an evaluation of the course and the totality of the teacher’s ability and his performance.

A third type of feedback is the one carried out periodically by way of a questionnaire on the products of a curriculum at an interval of say every five years after graduation. The purpose of this feed back is to determine whether the long-term aims and objectives are being achieved long after graduation. The questionnaire is usually designed to assess the “graduates” performance at work, his progress and improved skills and also to what extent he has been making good use of the knowledge and skills acquired during training.

The analysis of this type of feedback will also constitute an input to the changes to be affected in the curriculum as it will reveal areas of success and failure.

Question 6

How can a field of study be evaluated?

A field of study describes in broad terms the nature of a vocational or technical course. It states the objectives, subject matter and materials necessary for teaching the course.

The quality of education in any system and at any level is dependant on the quality of its curriculum. Curriculum in this treatise is seen as the totality of the environment in which education takes place, that is, the child, the teacher, the subject, the content, the method, the examination, the physical and the psychological environment.

Curriculum development is a technical and experimental process which include four major interrelated steps:

i. Identification of objectives

ii. Determination of strategies

iii. Implementation; and

iv. Evaluation which leads by a feedback system, to further identification of objectives.

Evaluation of a field of study has three major purposes:

i. To ensure that students are understanding what they are being taught.

ii. To provide feedback to student on how well they are doing

iii. To determine when students have satisfied the requirements of a course or programme so that they can move to a new course or graduate from the programme.

Field of study evaluation involves the collection of data and the use of the collected data to access the effectiveness and quality of a programme. Six approaches are usually adopted in programme evaluation and these are:

i. Evaluation of students performance

ii. Institutional self-study

iii. Evaluation by external experts

iv. Follow-up study

v. Employer survey

vi. Accountability and cost evaluation

Question 7

How can effective teaching in TVET be identified?

There are many elements involved in the evaluation of instructional programme in TVET. However, four major ones are curriculum, students, the teachers and facilities and other resources.

The fundamental curriculum question which must be answered in relation to evaluation is “what learning is of most value?” in other words, what knowledge is of most worth to the learner and the community? In answering this question, Tyler (1949) identified four fundamental questions which must be answered in developing or improving any curriculum, and these are:

i. What learning experiences can be provided that will best achieve these objectives?

ii. What educational objectives should the school seek to attain?

iii. How can these experiences be organized for effective teaching?

iv. How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?

Answering these questions sequentially, gives the four major elements of curriculum process listed by Wheeler (1980) and Nicholas (1978). These are:

1. Aims, goals and objectives

2. Determining what learning experiences will best achieve the objectives

3. Selecting content and subject matters and organizing for teaching and learning

4. Evaluating whether the objectives have been achieved.

An important criterion in effective teaching in TVET is teachers’ self evaluation. The teacher should evaluate his effectiveness by answering questions such as:

a. Do I prepare my lesson adequately?

b. Is the learning environment stimulating and well organized?

c. How satisfied am I with my methods, class control and relationship with students?

d. How are the students involved in my class?

e. Do I take account of individual differences of children in relationship to their performance?

Another criterion in effective teaching in TVET is learners’ characteristics. Beginning with the growth and development of learner’s developmental psychology reveals that physical growth and development occur in stages from childhood right through adolescence into adulthood. The physical change in growth and development affects learners in ways regarding the kinds of activities they are capable of undertaking, their emotional stage and pattern of their interactions with others.

The knowledge of growth and development will help the curriculum planner know the kind of activities appropriate for each stage of development.