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Higher Education Learning Outcomes Assessment

International Perspectives


Hamish Coates

This book provides higher education teachers, leaders and policymakers with insights from research on assessing students’ learning outcomes. The book is founded in research, shaped by policy, and designed to be of enduring relevance to practice. Framed by a cycle of continuous quality improvement, it begins by discussing policy contexts and research concepts. Experts discuss institutional, disciplinary, national and international case studies. Perspectives are advanced for reviewing the relevance and feasibility of assessment initiatives. The book explores what stakeholders have done to convert work on learning outcomes into improvements in education.
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Outcomes assessment in practice: Reflections on two Australian implementations


Abstract: This chapter provides a critical reflection of the experiences of the authors in two different projects that have explored the assessment of higher education students’ learning outcomes. The discussion begins by providing a context to the Australian higher education system in which these projects were undertaken. It then explores each of these assessments separately, offering sections for each on background, engagement, implementation and reporting. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the different approaches used in each project, highlighting lessons learned and offering reflections for future work. The two case studies provide useful lessons for the future establishment of outcomes assessments across institutions in higher education. It is clear there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ way in which to undertake these projects.

Keywords: test design and validation; assessment implementation; engineering education; medical education

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