The professionalisation of learning, teaching and assessment in Higher Education through evidence-based practice

  • Chris Rust

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    A series of 15 publications over the years 1991-2003 represent research activity into educational development and the professionalisation of learning, teaching and assessment in higher education (HE). This output constitutes an original contribution to knowledge about teaching in higher education within the following three broad areas:
    - the professional training of teachers in HE, including: the need for such training, the nature and design of that training, its evaluation, and its effectiveness and desirability
    - helping students to learn through 'teaching' each other,
    - the effect assessment has on student approaches to learning, the need for teachers in HE to understand that effect, to develop and identify best practice, and to find ways of using that effect strategically.

    Progression in each area is dealt with separately, as parallel developments of the main theme over the past 12 years.

    In the three areas identified above, the research demonstrates:
    • the need for training and for the professionalisation of teachers in HE, and the potential effectiveness of both initial training courses and of educational development workshops to help bring that about
    • that forms of structured peer 'teaching' can have a sustained and transferable benefit to the students' learning
    • that a simple, short and inexpensive intervention in the assessment process can effect a significant improvement in student learning which is sustained over time

    The research also provides evidence which:
    a) questions whether the increased emphasis on specifications, descriptors and explicitness is sufficient on its own to establish and maintain standards and transparency of standards
    b) demonstrates the need, when descriptors are used in course design, to distinguish clearly between threshold and aspirational outcomes

    The publications have also been successful in disseminating good and best practice to a wider practitioner audience
    Date of AwardMay 2003
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorDanny Saunders (Supervisor)

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