Regina Mawusi Nugba, Frank Quansah


Assessment approaches employed by lecturers in higher education institutions play a significant role in the quality of teaching and learning. While instructors see the goals of the curriculum as basics for school assessments, learners have their own perception of assessments which shape their future learning activities. This study aimed at examining students’ perception of lecturers’ assessments at the University of Cape Coast. An explanatory sequential design was adopted by first selecting 830 students through a multi-stage sampling procedure and later, randomly sampled 12 students to be interviewed based on the quantitative results. A standardised questionnaire called “Students’ Perception of Assessment Questionnaire” (SPAQ) was adapted and used to gather the survey data. An interview guide was employed to collect the qualitative data. Students were of the view that assessments in their institution are congruent with their learning activities. Further analysis discovered that assessments in the university, as perceived by the students, failed to reflect the activities of the world of work. Conclusions and recommendations were outlined based on the outcome of the study.

Article visualizations:

Hit counter


assessment, tasks, authenticity, planned learning, university students, higher education

Full Text:



Academic Programmes, Policies and Regulations for Undergraduate Studies (2017). Brochure for undergraduate students in the University of Cape Coast. University of Cape Coast: University Printing Press.

Anhwere, Y. M. (2009). Assessment practices of teacher training college tutors in Ghana. Unpublished Master’s thesis, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast.

Baah-Boateng. (2013). Determinants of unemployment in Ghana. African Development Review, 25(4), 385–399.

Biggs, J. (2003). Teaching for quality learning at university. Buckingham: SHRE & Open University Press.

Biggs, J. B. (1996) Enhancing teaching through constructive alignment. Higher Education, 32, 1–18.

Biggs, J., & Tang, C. (2011). Teaching for quality learning at university: What the student does. Maidenhead: Oxford University Press and McGraw-Hill.

Birenbaum, M., & Feldman, R. (1998). Relationships between learning patterns and attitudes towards two assessment formats. Educational Research, 40(1), 90-98. doi: 10.1080/0013188980400109.

Boud, D. (2009). How can practice reshape assessment? In G. Joughin (Ed.), Assessment, learning and judgement in higher education (pp. 1-15). Netherlands: Springer.

Boud, D., & Falchikov, N. (2006). Aligning assessment with long‐term learning. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 31(4), 399-413.

Boud, D., & Falchikov, N. (2007). Rethinking assessment in higher education: Learning for the long term. New York: Routledge.

Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 77-101.

Brown, G. T. L., & Wang, Z. (2011). Illustrating assessment: How Hong Kong university students conceive of the purposes of assessment. Studies in Higher Education, 1, 1-21.

Brown, G., Bull, J., & Pendlebury, M. (1997). Assessing student learning in higher education. London: Routledge.

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.). Boston: Pearson Publication.

Creswell, J. W., & Clark, V. L. P. (2018). Designing and conducting mixed methods research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Pubilications, Inc.

Dhindsa, H. S., Omar, K., & Waldrip, B. (2007). Upper secondary Bruneian science students’ perceptions of assessment. International Journal of Science Education, 29(10), 1261-1280.

Dochy, F., & McDowell, L. (1997). Assessment as a tool for learning. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 23(4), 279-298. doi:10.1016/S0191-491X(97)86211-6.

Dochy, F., Segers, M., Gijbels, D., & Struyven, K. (2007). Assessment engineering: Breaking down barriers between teaching, and learning and assessment. In D. Boud & N. Falchikov (Eds.), Rethinking assessment in higher education: Learning for the longer term (pp.87-100). New York: Routledge.

Dorman, J. P., Fisher, D. L., & Waldrip, B. G. (2006). Classroom environment, students’ perceptions of assessment, academic efficacy and attitude to science: A LISREL analysis. In D. Fisher & M. S. Khine (Eds.), Contemporary approaches to research on learning environment: Worldviews (pp. 1-28). Singapore: World Scientific.

Drew, S. (2001). Student perceptions of what helps them learn and develop. Teaching in Higher Education, 6(3), 309-331. doi:10.1080/13562510120061197.

Fernandes, S., Flores, M. A., & Lima, R. M. (2012). Students’ views of assessment in project-led engineering education: findings from a case study in Portugal. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 37(2), 163-178.

Fisher, D. L., Waldrip, B. G., & Dorman, J. (2005). Student perceptions of assessment: Development and validation of a questionnaire. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada.

Fletcher, R. B., Meyer, L. H., Anderson, H., Johnston, P., & Rees, M. (2012). Faculty and students conceptions of assessment in higher education. Higher Education, 62(1), 1-15.

Flores, M., Veiga Simão, M., Barros, A., & Pereira, D. (2015). Perceptions of effectiveness, fairness and feedback of assessment methods: A study in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 40(9), 1523-1534. doi:10.1080/03075079.2014.881348.

Fook, C. Y., & Sidhu, G. K. (2011). Assessment preferences and practices in Malaysian higher education. The International Journal of Educational and Psychological Assessment, 8(1), 58-74.

Gao, M. (2012). Classroom assessment in Mathematics: High school students’ perception. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(2), 63-68.

Gielen, S., Dochy, F., & Dierick, S. (2003). Evaluating the consequential validity of new modes of assessment: The influence of assessment on learning, including pre-, post-, and true assessment effects. In M. Segers, F. Dochy, & E. Cascallar (Eds.), Optimising new modes of assessment: In search of qualities and standards (pp. 37–54). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Gijbels, D., Van de Watering, G., Dochy, F., & Van den Bossche, P. (2005). The relationship between students’ approaches to learning and the assessment of learning outcomes. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 20(4), 327-341.

Hue, M., Leung, C., & Kennedy, K. (2014). Student perception of assessment practices: Towards ‘no loser’ classrooms for all students in the ethnic minority schools in Hong Kong. Educational Assessment Evaluation and Accountability, 27(3), 253-273. doi:10.1007/s11092-014-9205-2.

Kankam, B., Bordoh, A., Eshun, I., Bassaw, T. K., & Koranteng, F. Y. (2014). An investigation into authentic assessment practices of social studies teachers in the senior high schools (SHSs) in Ghana. American Journal of Social Sciences, 2(6), 166-172.

Mazur, E. (2015). Assessment: The silent killer of learning. Lecture delivered at Hope College Chemistry & Biochemistry Department Seminar on February 13, 2015.

Meyers, N., & Nulty, D. (2009). How to use (five) curriculum design principles to align authentic learning environments, assessment, students’ approaches to thinking and learning outcomes. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 34(5), 565-577. doi:10.1111/j.1745-3992.2003.tb00142.x.

Pereira, D., & Flores, M. (2012). Percepções dos estudantes universitários sobre a avaliação das aprendizagens: Um estudo exploratório. Avaliação (Campinas), 17(2), 529–56.doi:10.1590/S1414-40772012000200012.

Pereira, D., Flores, M., & Niklasson, L. (2015). Assessment revisited: A review of research in Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education. doi:10.1080/02602938.2015.1055233.

Quansah, F. (2018). Traditional or performance assessment: What is the right way to assessing learners? Research on Humanities and Social Sciences, 8(1), 21-24.

Quansah, F., & Asamoah, D. (2019). Chew, poor, pass, and forget: Students’ perception of authentic assessment in universities in Ghana. Social Science and Humanities Journal, 3(3), 901-909.

Quansah, F., Ankoma-Sey, V. R., & Asamoah, D. (2019). The gap between the academia and industry: perspectives of university graduates in Ghana. International Journal of Education and Research, 7(3), 63-72.

Quinn, L. (2015). Assessment in higher education: Reframing traditional understandings and practices. Retrieved from

Ramsden, P. (2004). Learning to teach in higher education. London: Routledge Falmer.

Rust, C. (2002). The impact of assessment on student learning. London: SAGE Publication.

Sambell, K., & McDowell, L. (1998). The values of self and peer assessment to the developing lifelong learner. In C. Rust (Ed.), Improving student learning: Improving students as learners (pp.56-66). Oxford: Oxford Center for Staff and Learning Development.

Segers, M., Gijbels, D., & Thurlings, M. (2008). The relationship between students' perceptions of portfolio assessment practice and their approaches to learning. Educational Studies, 34(1), 35 -44. doi:10.1080/03055690701785269.

Sluijsmans, D., Dochy, F., & Moerkerke, G. (1998). Creating a learning environment by using self, peer and co-assessment. Learning Environment Research, 1(3), 293-319. doi:10.1023/A:1009932704458.

Struyven, K., Dochy, F., & Janssens, S. (2005). Students’ perceptions about evaluation and assessment in higher education: A review. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 30(4), 331–347. doi:10.1080/02602930500099102.

Tang, C., Lai, P., Arthur, D., & Leung, S. (1999). How do students prepare for traditional and portfolio assessment in a problem-based learning curriculum? In J Conway & A. Williams (Eds.), Themes and Variations in PBL: Refereed proceedings of the 1999 Biennial PBL Conference Vol.1 (pp. 206-217). Sydney: Australia Problem-Based Learning Network (PROBLARC).

Watering, G., Gijbels, D., Dochy, F., & Rijt, J. (2008). Students’ assessment preferences, perceptions of assessment and their relationships to study results. Higher Education, 56(6), 645-658. doi:10.1007/s10734-008-9116-6.

Watkins, D. (2001). Correlates of approaches to learning: A cross-cultural meta-analysis. In R. J. Stemberg & L. Zhang (Eds.), Perspectives on thinking, learning, and cognitive styles (pp. 165-196). London: Lawrence Eribaum Associates.

Webber, K. (2012). The use of learner-centered assessment in US colleges and universities. Research in Higher Education, 53(2), 201-228. doi:10.1007/s11162-011-9245-0.

Wren, J., Sparrow, H., Northcote, M., & Sharp, S. (2009). Higher education students’ perceptions of effective assessment. The International Journal of Learning, 15(12), 11-23.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Regina Mawusi Nugba, Frank Quansah

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2015-2023. European Journal of Education Studies (ISSN 2501 - 1111) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All authors who send their manuscripts to this journal and whose articles are published on this journal retain full copyright of their articles. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).