Pedagogy in Distance Education: Is evaluative judgement an effective pedagogical tool for students in distance education?

  • Paul Mupa Faculty of Education-Department of Educational Studies, Zimbabwe Open University
Keywords: Distance Education, pedagogical tool, self-assessment, evaluative judgement, reflective practices


Distance education has expanded dramatically over the years and has become a needed component in the higher education landscape especially in this COVID-19 era. Students in distance education need the ability to make decisions about the quality of work and others. The argument advanced in this article is that evaluative judgement should be used as a pedagogical tool by students in distance education so that they develop the capacity to improve their reflective practices. Qualitative methodology was employed in this study. Learning facilitators from the Zimbabwe Open University were purposefully sampled to generate data through semi-structured interviews. The major findings of the study were that evaluative judgement is a very effective tool which enables students to see whether what they are doing is right or wrong. It is used in assignment writing, term paper presentations, research project writing, group discussions, peer assessment, teaching practice attachment and during examination writing. It improves the depth and breadth of understanding matter and also improves the quality of interaction between the student and the content. The study recommends that tutorial handbooks should be provided at orientation on the importance of evaluative judgement to students in order to improve the quality of their work.