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Title: Investigating the relationships between authentic assessment and the development of learner autonomy
Author: Davison, Gillian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2703 493X
Awarding Body: Northumbria University
Current Institution: Northumbria University
Date of Award: 2011
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The research is based within higher education, focusing on four undergraduate modules in a university in the north of England, United Kingdom. The research explores the relationships between authentic learning activities and the development of different 'types' of learner autonomy. Assessment for Learning provides a pedagogic framework for the research and positions and defines authenticity and autonomy within this perspective on learning and assessment. The research aimed to explore the (potential) relationships between authentic (formative and summative) assessment practices and the types of autonomy, learner behaviour or development which emerged from this type of approach. The research examined authentic learning activities developed within academic modules which were non-vocational in nature (curriculum which was not linked to any professional awarding body). The 'authentic' learning activities were placed within a situated paradigm of learning and a constructivist view of knowledge. An interpretive, qualitative research design was employed, with twenty student and four tutor respondents. The research identified tutor and student constructions of authenticity and outlined the different types of learning autonomy which emerged from these constructions. Factors which inhibited and promoted development are discussed. When authentic learning activities were seen as relevant and meaningful by learners' and were framed and conceptualised within a pedagogic structure which supported student learning, a range of autonomous learning behaviours were observed. These behaviours were seen to develop in a complex 'layering' process, dependent for development on the presence of other 'types' of autonomy, to enable the 'building' of an overall autonomous learning capacity. The thesis presents two theoretical models which offer a contribution to the understanding of the ways in which authentic learning activities may contribute to the development of learner autonomy.
Supervisor: McDowell, Liz Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: X200 Research and Study Skills in Education ; X300 Academic studies in Education