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Title: The impact of assessment practices in the university setting upon the learning behaviour of student physiotherapists
Author: Needham, Joy
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 2009
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Abstract:
Assessment has been shown to direct student learning behaviour by influencing the quality and quantity of effort, the aspects of the course syllabus that will be attended to and the qualitative outcomes of learning. From the late 1960s through to the 1990s a wealth of education research was undertaken to explore student learning behaviour and this shaped the design and delivery of modern day curricula, including the emergence of 'constructive alignment'. With this, distinct efforts to express learning outcomes which link to assessment procedures were made and criteria against which performance standards were to be judged were published. Along with such initiatives the variety of assessment methods also increased, yet little evaluation of the impact of such changes on student learning behaviour has been made. However, a recent report submitted to the Higher Education Academy suggests that the modern teaching and assessment environment is associated with a range of negative learning responses. These include less effort, less coverage of the syllabus and a less deep approach to studying. This work examined the assessment characteristics of an undergraduate physiotherapy programme situated in a modern university with an educational philosophy of constructive alignment. It considers the relationship between the assessment environment and resultant student learning behaviour. The study showed that students endeavoured to adopt a deep approach to their learning and were engendered with a professional responsibility to commit themselves to a personal stance of understanding and meaning-making. It is suggested that this outcome is due to the vocational nature of the programme and the inherent community of practice that this brings, and the associated affiliation of the profession to the concept of clinical reasoning. A further finding questions the assumed pedagogic stance surrounding deep and surface approaches to learning. It is suggested that a deep learning motive — achieving assessment strategy may well describe many learners and befits a contemporary, mass higher education system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.534863  DOI: Not available
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