Assessing student learning in selected social sciences and humanities undergraduate programmes at universities in the UK and Vietnam: a comparative case study

Nguyen, Thi Hong Tham (2013) Assessing student learning in selected social sciences and humanities undergraduate programmes at universities in the UK and Vietnam: a comparative case study. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

This research study investigates the similarities and differences in assessment policy, perspectives and practices in relation to student learning, desirable graduate outcomes and lifelong learning (LLL) in two departments with similar disciplines: Sociology and Social Policy and English Studies of the Midlands University (MU) – UK and Sociology and English Linguistics and Literature of the Ho Chi Minh City University (HCMU) – Vietnam. The study’s conceptual framework was developed from research literatures on assessment, mainly David Boud’s framework of sustainable assessment or assessment for longer term learning, as the framework for data analysis. The methodology is a comparative case study, and the methods include using semi-structured interviews with 22 staff in both cases, four student focus groups, an action-based intervention at the English department of the HCMU, and document analysis. The similarities and differences across the comparative cases are explained on the basis of the economic, socio-cultural and HE contexts, while Boud’s framework is reframed theoretically and operationally for these contexts, and as a guide to improving practices.

The data shows that although more elements of Boud’s framework were found in the MU than the HCMU, assessment in both cases was an imperfect realisation of this framework. The argument is made that this framework can offer a good vision for the two cases to aim at in terms of changes in their assessment perspective and practices, but the framework itself should also be reframed with contextual and cultural features of assessment, as well as the development of human capabilities and functionings in order to encompass a fuller range of educational goals. It is concluded that above all assessment should support not only learning at university but also expansive rather than reductive LLL.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Walker, M.
McLean, M.
Keywords: Undergraduates, educational tests and measurements, continuing education, students, rating of, Vietnam, Great Britain
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 13352
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2013 08:24
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 15:00
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/13352

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