An assessment of the evaluation of Kenyan university fashion and apparel design Programs
Rael Maiyo Chepchumba, Cheruiyot Monica
The link between quality education and effective production at workplaces lies in the efficacy of evaluation. This paper, premised on the findings of a study that sought information on how the university undergraduate fashion and apparel design programs are evaluated in Kenya, outlines the various assessment approaches adopted by Kenyan universities offering fashion and apparel design programs. Using a descriptive survey research design, the study was carried out in 5 Kenyan universities and apparel design firms that have employed Kenyan university fashion and apparel design graduates across Kenya. Data collected through questionnaires, interviews, document analysis and field observation was analysed using SPSS. The findings established that evaluation of fashion and apparel design programs was done by all the university FAD departments while performance standards were evaluated through International Organization for Standardization tools, students’ evaluations and external evaluations. In addition, course evaluation of practical courses was done either by the lectures or technician as the students did their practicals. Evaluation for theory lessons was mostly done by written Continuous Assessment Tests, term papers and final written exams. At the end of the semester, before beginning exams, the end products were marked and kept to be marked again by external examiners. The paper concludes evaluation of UFAD courses varies for theory and practical courses, and varies from one university to another. In addition, external examiners from other institutions evaluate the examination scripts once in an academic year. As such, mark allocation should be reviewed for both practicals and theory and other evaluation strategies can be designed other than through the usual evaluation of exams and course outlines by external examiners. This is because practical courses may not be adequately evaluated by external examiners who evaluate exams once or twice a year. The FA industry and relevant standards should, too, be included in the evaluation of the UFAD programs. Further on evaluation, external examiners for FAD courses should have specialised in FAD.