The assessment of transformational potential of students in placement modules in United Kingdom universities: academic staff perspectives

Goulet, Gail M (2014) The assessment of transformational potential of students in placement modules in United Kingdom universities: academic staff perspectives. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

It is generally acknowledged that two central goals of university higher education are to enable student learning and to help students develop. Within that mandate, academic staff perform many functions including teaching and assessing. It is also generally acknowledged that educators adapt as new and accessible knowledge emerges on how students learn and develop and on changing demands on Higher Education (HE). One of these adaptations has been the widening use of experiential learning, specifically the use of community placements. As the educational contexts of students expand beyond the university, both the different pedagogy of experiential learning and unfamiliar situations in community agencies can create a situation where it is possible for students to experience Transformational Learning (TL), as proposed by Mezirow (2008). This is an interpretive, qualitative, exploratory and descriptive study that uses a pluralistic methodological approach. This approach includes multiple case studies and the theoretical frameworks of TL and Service-Learning (SL). The study explores how placements in the United Kingdom are similar to SL provisions in the United States, how Academic Staff Participants (ASPs) perceive and conduct assessment of students in placements and how they consider TL experiences. Through semi-structured interviews with twenty-nine ASPs in four UK universities, the methods used in the assessment of student work are illuminated and analysed. The pedagogies of the ASPs in both professional and non-professional placement modules are compared. The ASPs relay their experiences, expectations, assignments, assessment protocols and university engagements with placement hosts and communities. The emerging themes from the ASP interviews show that change and risk, lifelong learning and employability are major concerns for stakeholders and that placement learning serves many purposes. The resulting conclusions identify some of the challenges that placement learning poses for ASPs teaching in the new millennium. With the practices shared by the ASPs this thesis further proposes a framework of Participatory Action Research (PAR) that academic staff (AS) could use to support each other, further assisting student learning and development to realise the full potential of TL.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Transformational Learning, Academic Staff, Faculty, Service Learning, Assessment, UK Universities, Placement, Experiential Learning,
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Osborne, Professor Micheal and Patrick, Dr Fiona
Date of Award: 2014
Depositing User: Dr Gail Goulet
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-5707
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2014 16:09
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2014 16:16
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/5707

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