Research Handbook on Quality, Performance and Accountability in Higher Education
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Research Handbook on Quality, Performance and Accountability in Higher Education

Edited by Ellen Hazelkorn, Hamish Coates and Alexander C. McCormick

As higher education becomes a key determinant for economic competitiveness, institutions face increasing pressure to demonstrate their fitness to meet the needs of society and individuals. Blending innovative research with richly contextualised examples this unique Research Handbook provides authoritative insights from around the globe on how best to understand, assess and improve quality, performance and accountability in higher education.
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Chapter 20: Global assessments of disciplinary learning outcomes: what we learned from AHELO

Mary Catharine Lennon, Satoko Fukahori and Daniel Edwards


In the modern higher education landscape, programs differ by country in the types of credential offerings, nomenclature, length and even institutional types. In this ‘jungle of credentials’, recognition is vital for an individual to successfully migrate and integrate into another labour market. Learning outcomes (statements of what students know and are able to do) have the potential to support recognition through the integration and coordination of national systems. This chapter explores a feasibility study funded by the OECD that tackled this issue from both a theoretical and practical perspective by developing assessments of learning outcomes designed for application across languages and national contexts. The authors reflect on the outcomes from this study from a perspective of being participants in its implementation. The discussion draws on experience from three different countries and offers important insights with the aim of ensuring that the lessons learnt from this large-scale project are incorporated into future work in the assessment of learning outcomes in higher education.

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