Australian higher education evaluation through assurance of learning
Kinash, S., Mathew, T., Lawson, R., Herbert, J., French, E., Taylor, T., Hall, C., Fallshaw, E. and Summers, J. (2012) Australian higher education evaluation through assurance of learning. In: 8th International Conference on Evaluation for Practice, 18 - 20 June 2012, Pori, Finland
A collaborative research project conducted by five Australian universities inquired into the philosophy and motivation for Assurance of Learning (AoL) as a process of education evaluation. Associate Deans Teaching and Learning representing Business schools from twenty-five universities across Australia participated in telephone interviews. Data was analysed using NVIVO9. Results indicated that articulated rationale for AoL was both ensuring that students had acquired the attributes and skills the universities claimed they had, and the philosophy of continuous improvement. AoL was motivated both by ritualistic objectives to satisfy accreditation requirements and virtuous agendas for quality improvement. Closing-the-loop was emphasised, but was mostly wishful thinking for next steps beyond data collection and reporting. AoL was conceptualised as one element within the larger context of quality review, but there was no evidence of comprehensive frameworks or strategic plans.
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