Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE)
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New learning gain project

Approximately 27,000 students will be invited to take part in a new longitudinal study, the National Mixed Methodology Learning Gain Project, which involves 10 English universities. The project forms a key element of HEFCE’s wider programme of work on learning gain, which aims to understand how students’ knowledge and skills develop during the course of their degree.

The National Mixed Methodology Learning Gain Project (NMMLGP) will pilot a combination of methodological approaches to measuring learning gain [Note 1], with the help of undergraduate students at 10 partner institutions: Anglia Ruskin University, Bishop Grosseteste University, the University of Greenwich, the University of Hertfordshire, the University of Hull, the University of Kent, the University of Leicester, the University of Liverpool, the University of St Mark and St John, and the University of Wolverhampton.

In each year of their studies, participating students will be invited to complete an assessment, which will explore their:

  • critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • attitudes towards their study experience
  • engagement with their studies.

The project will run between the 2016-17 and 2019-20 academic years.

As part of the wider programme of work on learning gain, HEFCE has already funded 13 institutionally led pilot projects. This programme of work is contributing to ongoing debates about the quality and impact of higher education, and how to evidence students’ wider learning.

A detailed overview of the NMMLGP will be presented alongside findings from the first year of work within the learning gain pilot projects on Thursday 10 November at the HEFCE National Conference on Learning Gain [Notes 2 and 3].

Notes

  1. The project draws broadly on the approach of a previous study undertaken in the US by the Centre of Inquiry at Wabash College (www.liberalarts.wabash.edu/study-overview/). Using an online assessment, it combines questions independently developed by Ernest Pascarella (Chair in Higher Education at the University of Iowa), Cambridge Assessment, and the Higher Education Academy, amongst others. The online assessment is being administered by IFF Research. More information about IFF Research is available at www.iffresearch.com/.
  2. National Conference on Learning Gain: www.hefce.ac.uk/news/Events/Name,110460,en.html.
  3. HEFCE’s learning gain projects: www.hefce.ac.uk/lt/lg/projects/.

 

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