Hunting and gathering: new imperatives in mapping and collecting student learning data to assure quality outcomes

Lawson, Romy and Taylor, Tracy and French, Erica and Fallshaw, Eveline and Hall, Cathy and Kinash, Shelley and Summers, Jane (2015) Hunting and gathering: new imperatives in mapping and collecting student learning data to assure quality outcomes. Higher Education Research and Development, 34 (3). pp. 581-595. ISSN 0729-4360


Assurance of learning (AOL) is a quality enhancement and quality assurance process used in higher education. It involves a process of determining programme learning outcomes and standards, and systematically gathering evidence to measure students' performance on these. The systematic assessment of whole-of-programme outcomes provides a basis for curriculum development and management, continuous improvement, and accreditation. To better understand how AOL processes operate, a national study of university practices across one discipline area, business and management, was undertaken. To solicit data on AOL practice, interviews were undertaken with a sample of business school representatives (n = 25). Two key processes emerged: (1) mapping of graduate attributes and (2) collection of assurance data. External drivers such as
professional accreditation and government legislation were the primary reasons for undertaking AOL outcomes but intrinsic motivators in relation to continuous improvement were also evident. The facilitation of academic commitment was achieved through an embedded approach to AOL by the majority of universities in the study. A sustainable and inclusive process of AOL was seen to support wider stakeholder engagement in the development of higher education learning outcomes.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Management and Enterprise
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2015 21:15
Last Modified: 16 May 2017 06:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: assurance of learning; curriculum mapping; quality; student learning outcomes
Fields of Research : 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150313 Quality Management
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2014.911249

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