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ERIC Number: EJ981924
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0260-2938
Moving beyond Face Value: Re-Envisioning Higher Education Evaluation as a Generator of Professional Knowledge
Darwin, Stephen
Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, v37 n6 p733-745 2012
Conventional student-led evaluation is now an orthodox feature of the North American, UK and Australian higher education landscape. Increasingly, it is guiding major institutional decisions around educational quality, academic promotion and more recently institutional funding by government. Yet significant research around student-led evaluation has demonstrated that this form of student opinion-based evaluation remains highly fragile and susceptible to multiple forms of influence. This paper argues that student-led evaluation of itself is not sufficiently robust to appropriately inform notions of educational quality or pedagogical capability of academics. An alternative approach to evaluation in higher education is proposed, broadly drawing on the conception of "fourth generation evaluation." The model foregrounds academic collaboration in shaping a professional evaluative framework at an activity level (i.e. programme or sub-discipline level) based on an ongoing dialogue between peers and with students, as well as qualitative evaluation of student learning. The model attempts to make tensions and conflicts in the teaching and learning context more explicit and the active focus of evaluative efforts to devise appropriate and sustainable responses to improve the quality of learning and professional practice. This paper presents some preliminary research on the effectiveness of this model in its initial piloting in postgraduate programmes in an Australian university. (Contains 1 table.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia