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ERIC Number: EJ838693
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1682-3451
What's the Difference? A Model for Measuring the Value Added by Higher Education in Australia
Coates, Hamish
Higher Education Management and Policy, v21 n1 p69-88 2009
Measures of student learning are playing an increasingly significant role in determining the quality and productivity of higher education. This paper evaluates approaches for estimating the value added by university education, and proposes a methodology for use by institutions and systems. The paper argues that value-added measures of learning are important for quality assurance in contemporary higher education. It reviews recent large-scale developments in Australia, methodological considerations pertaining to the measurement and evaluation of student learning, and instruments validated to measure students' capability, generic skills, specific competencies, work readiness and student engagement. Four approaches to calculating value-added measures are reviewed. The first approach computes value-added estimates by comparing predicted against actual performance using data from entrance tests and routine course assessments. In the second approach, comparisons are made between outcomes from objective assessments administered to cohorts in the first and later years of study. Comparisons of first-year and later-year students' engagement in key learning activities offer a third and complementary means of assessing the value added by university study. Feedback on graduate skills provided by employers is a fourth approach which gives an independent perspective on the quality of education. Reviewing these four approaches provides a basis for their synthesis into a robust and potentially scalable methodology for measuring the value added by higher education. This methodology is advanced, along with its implications for instrumentation, sampling, analysis and reporting. Case studies are presented to illustrate the methodology's potential for informing comparative analyses of the performance of higher education systems.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia