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Student assessment in higher education: embargo or empowerment?

Student assessment in higher education: embargo or empowerment? PurposeThis study recruited students who struggled to meet institutional deadlines for summative assessments. Increasing the number of diverse and non-traditional students in higher education (HE) institutions presents challenges in learning and teaching in online, conventional and hybrid contexts, impacting on student academic success. The purpose of this paper is to expand our understanding of student perceptions of the factors involved in academic achievement.Design/methodology/approachUsing qualitative methods and in-depth semi-structured interviews, 14 participants were interviewed. Using Freire’s concept of empowerment, and Bordieu’s concept of habitus, the authors explore student perceptions of assessment.FindingsResults presented thematically indicate that student perceptions of the purpose of the assessment and academic qualification are at odds with institutional habitus. Several embargoes impacting on academic achievement were revealed.Research limitations/implicationsShifting organisational patterns and modes of production within HE institutions have influenced the student experience of academic writing and assessment. Findings highlight the factors that impact on academic success in HE institutions for non-traditional students in particular. Social class and educational background (habitus) are not factors taken into account when students are assessed. This impacts on capacity to achieve academic success.Practical implicationsThe paper includes implications for curriculum designers, and self-reflective practitioners on issues related to academic success for non-traditional students.Social implicationsThe study uses two case studies from two countries, Scotland and Brazil, both countries have invested heavily to address the twenty-first century learning agenda. Issues of widening access have increased student diversity, however, embargoes on academic achievement remain powerful factors that require further discussion and study.Originality/valueThis paper fulfils an identified need to study how issues of widening access can be mitigated, in particular for non-traditional students. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education Emerald Publishing

Student assessment in higher education: embargo or empowerment?

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2050-7003
DOI
10.1108/JARHE-04-2017-0049
Publisher site
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Abstract

PurposeThis study recruited students who struggled to meet institutional deadlines for summative assessments. Increasing the number of diverse and non-traditional students in higher education (HE) institutions presents challenges in learning and teaching in online, conventional and hybrid contexts, impacting on student academic success. The purpose of this paper is to expand our understanding of student perceptions of the factors involved in academic achievement.Design/methodology/approachUsing qualitative methods and in-depth semi-structured interviews, 14 participants were interviewed. Using Freire’s concept of empowerment, and Bordieu’s concept of habitus, the authors explore student perceptions of assessment.FindingsResults presented thematically indicate that student perceptions of the purpose of the assessment and academic qualification are at odds with institutional habitus. Several embargoes impacting on academic achievement were revealed.Research limitations/implicationsShifting organisational patterns and modes of production within HE institutions have influenced the student experience of academic writing and assessment. Findings highlight the factors that impact on academic success in HE institutions for non-traditional students in particular. Social class and educational background (habitus) are not factors taken into account when students are assessed. This impacts on capacity to achieve academic success.Practical implicationsThe paper includes implications for curriculum designers, and self-reflective practitioners on issues related to academic success for non-traditional students.Social implicationsThe study uses two case studies from two countries, Scotland and Brazil, both countries have invested heavily to address the twenty-first century learning agenda. Issues of widening access have increased student diversity, however, embargoes on academic achievement remain powerful factors that require further discussion and study.Originality/valueThis paper fulfils an identified need to study how issues of widening access can be mitigated, in particular for non-traditional students.

Journal

Journal of Applied Research in Higher EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 9, 2018

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