Higher education learning out-comes and their Ambiguous Relationship to Disciplines and Professions.

Autor*in(nen): Michelsen, Svein; Vabø, Agnete; Kvilhaugsvik, Hanne & Kvam, Endre
Jahr: 2017
Dokumenttyp: Zeitschriftenartikel
Publikationstyp(en): Empirisches Dokument
Themen: Curriculumsentwicklung/Modularisierung, Lernergebnisorientierung
DOI: 10.1111/ejed.12199


This article highlights the significance of professional and disciplinary spaces in the shaping of Learning Outcomes (Los) in higher education. It is based on empirical studies of three programmes (engineering, the humanities and medicine) at two Norwegian universities. The results demonstrate both similarities and differences in the dynamics of learning outcomes formation. In the humanities and engineering they were translated into learning objectives, closing in on course rationalisation and portfolio coherence. Whilst the focus in the humanities remained internal in orientation, in engineering, internal processes of implementation merged with quality assurance and external development processes mediated by the engineering profession. In medicine, the introduction and implementation of learning outcomes were mediated by prior experiences with problem-based learning practices. During that process, learning outcomes became oriented towards professional identity and conformity to international quality standards. In that sense, learning outcomes could function as regulatory mechanisms sheltering medical education from outside interference rather than as a tool for structuring learning. Within the framework of learning outcomes, professional compliance with external scrutiny through the display of standards has become more important, but also more linked to the university as an organisational actor.


Michelsen, Svein; Vabø, Agnete; Kvilhaugsvik, Hanne & Kvam, Endre (2017). Higher education learning out-comes and their Ambiguous Relationship to Disciplines and Professions. European Journal of Education : Research, Development and Policy, 52 (1), 56-67. DOI: 10.1111/ejed.12199.

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