Project based learning and assessment of ordinary level Fashion and Fabrics in Zimbabwe


  • Patrick Sibanda Faculty of Applied Social Sciences, Zimbabwe Open University, Zimbabwe
  • Florence Sebele United College of Education, Zimbabwe Open University, Zimbabwe
  • Mlungisi Moyo United College of Education, Zimbabwe Open University, Zimbabwe


Project based learning and assessment, Fashion and fabrics, Entrepreneurial skills


Ordinary level assessment for Fashion and Fabrics exposes learners to a practical paper (Paper 3) which is weighted at 20%. This entails that 20% of the final assessment of a learner is coursework while 80% is the examination. Learners do not have full autonomy over the sample garment for coursework as there are specifications provided by the examining board. This research sought to explore how the assessment criterion could be improved to empower learners for further education and entrepreneurial skills. The revisit of the assessment criterion was in response to the contemporary issue of the advancement of STEM subjects under the slogan for, ‘Stemitisation of the curriculum’. This research was informed by the constructivist philosophical view, hence predominantly qualitative. The major question that guided the study was: ‘How could ‘O’ level Paper 3 Fashion and Fabrics assessment be improved to establish a relationship between opportunities for further education and entrepreneurial skills?’ Focus group interviews and unstructured questionnaires were used to collect data from a sample comprised of thirty ‘O’ level students and twenty teachers selected from high schools drawn across one district in the Bulawayo Metropolitan Province. The purposive sampling technique was applied in order to obtain rich information from respondents in their natural setting. Results revealed that the assessment criterion did not expose learners to sufficient problem solving skills. The major conclusion drawn was that there was a misalignment between the assessment criterion and the global need to prepare students for the demand for entrepreneurial skills in the 21st century. Recommendations put forth in this paper appraised the need for a project based assessment as it would enable students think creatively to boost their entrepreneurial skills and to facilitate their smooth transition into further education or productive work. The study also recommended an urgent curriculum review which will be sensitive to a balanced assessment criterion which recognizes both theory and practice in Fashion and Fabrics and which recognizes the ethos of interprenuership.


Adebayo, O., Kolawole, J.A., 2013. The historical background of entrepreneurial development in Nigeria: Its gains, shortcomings and needful. J. Emerg. Trends Econ. Manag. Sci., (JETEMS), 4(5), 493-500.

Cheung, D., 2007. School-based assessment in public examinations: Identifying the concerns of teacher. Educ. J., 29(2), 105-123.

Chiromo, A.S., 2006. Research methods and statistics in education. Gweru: Midlands State University.

Denscombe, M., 2007. The good research guide for small social research project. Glascow: McGraw- Hill.

Government of Zimbabwe, 2012-2017. Ministry of education Fashion and Fabrics ‘O’ level syllabus. Harare: CDU.

Grant, M.M., 2002. Getting a grip on project-based learning: Theory, cases and recommendations a middle school. Comput. Technol. J., 5(1).

Greatorex, J., Baird, A.J., Bell, F.J., 2002. Tools for trade: What makes GCSE? Marking reliable? A paper presented at a conference learning communities and assessment: Connecting research with practice. North Umbria: University of North Umbria.

Harris and Katz, 2001. Engaging children’s minds: The higher psychological processes. Cambridge MA. Harvard University.

Hopkins, K.D., 2004. The concurrent validity of standardized achievement tests by content using teachers ratings as criteria. J. Educ. Meas., 22(2), 177-182.

Katz, L.G., Chard, S.C., 2000. Engaging the children’s minds: The project approach (2nd ED) Stamford, CT: Ablex.

Kennedy, K.J., Chan, J.K., Yu, F.W., Fok, P.K., 2006. Integrating assessment of learning and assessment for learning in Hong Kong public examinations: Rationales and realities of introducing school-based assessment. A paper presented at the 32nd Annual IAEA Conference. 21-26 May, Singapore.

Leepile, G., 2009. Assessing home economics coursework in senior secondary schools in Botswana. A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Masters’ degree of Education. Faculty of Education. University of Pretoria.

Nwekeaku, C., 2013. Entrepreneurship education and challenges to Nigerian youths. Mediterr. J. Soc. Sci., 5(9).

Poliah, R., 2006. Can statistical and qualitative modes of moderation co-exist in model for quality assurance of school-based assessment. A South African Perspective. A paper presented at IAEA Annual Conference. 21-26 May, Singapore.



How to Cite

Sibanda, P. ., Sebele, F. ., & Moyo, M. . (2017). Project based learning and assessment of ordinary level Fashion and Fabrics in Zimbabwe. Scientific Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences, 6(7), 619-626. Retrieved from




Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 > >>