Formative Assessment Practices and its Effect on Employability Skills to Vocational Students in Tanzania
Keywords:Formative assessment, employability skills, labour market, vocational education, global economy.
AbstractThe study evaluated the effect of formative assessment practices on employability skills development. Specifically, the study explored students’ perceptions on essential employability skills for vocational career; examined formative assessment practices in vocational training centres and assessed the influence of formative assessment practices on employability skills among vocational students in Tanzania. It adopted a pragmatism paradigm which enabled the use of sequential explanatory mixed methods design. Data were collected from 97 vocational students and six vocational tutors sampled from Chang’ombe and Mwanza Vocational training centres. The quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed using regression model and content analysis techniques respectively. The study found that, vocational Students perceive a number of employability skills as essential for their career. The vocational education and training centres employ workshop, industrial projects and field placement as formative assessment practices to enhance such employability skills. However, formative assessment which is essential for employability skills, accounts only for 40%, compared to 60% of its counterpart summative assessment. Therefore, the study recommends for curriculum review to give formative assessment a more weight than summative assessment. Further study may develop measuring scale for employability skills among vocational education graduates in Tanzania.