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An analysis of cognitive demand of assessment tasks in grade12 accounting textbooks.

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Textbooks remain a key teaching resource in South African classrooms. The subject of accounting in particular relies on the textbook for both content knowledge and application exercises. There is, however, limited knowledge on the quality and standard of the assessment tasks presented in accounting textbooks. The purpose of this study is to analyse the cognitive demand of assessment tasks in Grade 12 Accounting textbooks. This study seeks to establish how the cognitive demand is presented in assessment tasks of two selected Grade 12 Accounting textbooks. This study used purposive sampling to select two textbooks from the study population of all Grade 12. The assessment tasks are classified according to each level of difficulty. Certain assessment tasks in the textbook maintained a higher level of questioning. However, other assessment tasks lowered the cognitive level by using questions focusing on recall and memory. This study examines the cognitive demand of all assessment tasks by using the taxonomy suggested by Umalusi. Data was collected by means of textbook analysis. The collected data was presented, interpreted, and analysed through the use of pie charts to enable easy evaluation of the findings. The results found that the assessment questions in New Era and New Generations textbooks consisted of all levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy; however, the results show that more of the questions fall under low-order thinking skills than higher order thinking skills. The conclusions from the data analysis have shown that the assessment tasks are valid and reliable.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.