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Learning outcomes and their assessment: putting Open University pedagogical practice under the microscope

By Maggie Coats, Christopher Dillon, Linda Hodgkinson and Catherine Reuben


The Open University (OU) is the United Kingdom's only university devoted to distance learning. It is also the UK's largest university with over 200,000 students overall. Around 150,000 students are studying undergraduate level courses. Over the last decade major policy changes have impacted on UK higher education. Following the recommendations of the National Committee of\ud Inquiry into Higher Education (Dearing Report, 1997) and the establishment of the Quality Assurance Agency, all UK universities have been required to define learning outcomes for their programmes and link learning outcomes to teaching and assessment. This major pedagogic shift\ud led the OU to establish the Learning Outcomes and their Assessment (LOTA) project to re-examine the ways its courses are planned, designed, delivered and assessed, and to initiate necessary institution-wide changes. Explicitly linking outcomes, assessment and teaching, actively using assessment for learning, and supporting academic staff development are key elements in enhancing student learning

Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:oro.open.ac.uk:5557
Provided by: Open Research Online

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