Practical work must be assessed in a way that will promote the development of key skills necessary for destinations beyond the physics school laboratory. This paper reports on a study which sought to find out teachers’ views and practices on the assessment of Advanced Level (‘A’ level) physics students’ practical work skills. Individual interviews and focus group discussions were conducted to get physics teachers’ views and practices on practical work skills assessment.
The views of physics teachers were that the current method of practical work assessment used by the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) is not efficient in encouraging students to develop a variety of practical work skills as students concentrated on mastering presentation and analysis skills at the expense of other crucial practical work skills like equipment manipulation, observational, planning and designing. The study recommends that alternative methods of practical work assessment that integrates both direct assessment of practical work skills (DAPS) and indirect assessment of practical work skills (IAPS) should be used to ensure valid and reliable assessment of practical work skills of ‘A’ level physics students.