Conventional assessment methodologies in higher education are increasingly under the spotlight and it is uncertain in certain circles, if traditional methods are in fact as effective as they are believed to be. Since the quality of education is critical to a nation’s success, it is important to interrogate a number of strategies and methods. The application of innovative teaching and learning methods is critical if we are to motivate and engender a spirit of learning as well as enthusiasm on the part of students, for learning while at universities and indeed for lifelong learning. The role of education is to ensure that while academic staff do teach, what is taught should also be intelligible to students emanating from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and that they rapidly become familiar with the expected standards. It is more often than not the case that students underachieve because of the fact that they have not grasped an awareness of the level of assessment or what it is that the lecturer expects from them. Lecturers should thus apply themselves to utilising innovative methods so that the students’ learning process is as free-flowing as possible and that the methodology they adopt is conducive to learning. Innovative teaching and learning methodologies such as short lecture, simulation, role-playing, portfolio development and problem-based learning (PBL) are very useful in addressing the rapid technological advances and developing workplaces that will be required in the foreseeable future. This article which is important in the broader transformation debate in higher education, focuses on skills that can strengthen language acquisition and content knowledge for students. PBL inter alia, is promoted as an innovative teaching and learning methodology that is highly relevant and meaningful and worth utilising.
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