Assessment is important in any teaching and learning activity as it helps both the students and instructors identify their strengths and weaknesses. Despite this, reliability and validity of thereof is a topic of contention among the education community. There is an underlying unavoidable element of subjectivity which is inherent in assessments, that impacts on their reliability and validity. Examination of research reports in higher education is not exempt from such. Trained educators are responsible for teaching and learning duties in basic education. However, academics in higher education present a unique case of consisting of pure academics and former industry professionals that lack training as educators, perform teaching and learning duties. Since research is an integral academic activity academics are involved either in the teaching and learning component, supervision thereof, and or examining research reports. There is a vagueness and mystery associated with process of examining research reports. Considering the lack of education training of academics and the fact novice academics are unsure of the boundaries of criteria to measure the quality of research reports regarding whether is it very good or poor this is concerning. In spite of this, assessment of dissertations is seldom interrogated from the perspective of the examiner. The current paper is a reflective discussion of a novice examiner’s experience with examining research dissertations. The main aim of the reflection is to share thoughts and experience as a research examiner in order to improve future practice.
Ziningi Jaya, Mangosuthu University of Technology, South Africa