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Higher Education Learning Outcomes Assessment

International Perspectives


Edited By 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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Decentralised learning outcomes assessments: Developments in Ontario, Canada


Abstract: Operating in a decentralised environment, quality assurance agencies in Canada and the province of Ontario have developed numerous expectations in competency and learning outcomes frameworks. Yet none of the frameworks require a demonstration of programmatic or student achievement, instead supporting institutional and program autonomy. Institutional activities in assessing student learning outcomes have been voluntary, small scale, and focused on internal expectations. Accredited professional programs in Canada are an exception, as they are required to provide evidence of either student or programmatic success. The case of engineering provides an excellent example of how learning outcomes assessments are being systematically embedded in programs in order to meet accreditation requirements. Due to external demands the engineering programs are pioneering learning outcomes assessment activities in Canada, and are finding ways to use those assessment activities to support program improvement and demonstrate program and student achievement, all while maintaining autonomy.

Keywords: professional accreditation; outcomes assessment; engineering education

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