The changing topography of student evaluation in higher education: mapping the contemporary terrain.

Autor*in(nen): Darwin, Stephen
Jahr: 2020
Dokumenttyp: Zeitschriftenartikel
Publikationstyp(en): Empirisches Dokument
Themen: Hochschuldidaktik/Lehr-Lern-Formate, Zielgruppen
DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2020.1740183


The transforming contexts of higher education are heightening the imperative for more sophisticated understandings of student learning. An increasingly critical challenge is how to most effectively engage with student perspectives to more effectively understand the nature of their learning experiences. Traditionally, student ratings have been the primary means with which to understand the student voice. Although approaches to student ratings have fragmented in recent years with diversifying research interest in student satisfaction, experience and engagement, relatively limited attention has been given to the epistemological underpinnings of ratings-based surveys or toward emerging alternative approaches to engaging the student voice. This paper analyses the epistemic foundations of ratings-based methods in the context of other emerging strategies that attempt to engage with student voices more collaboratively. From this analysis, a map of the range of current and emerging approaches to the capturing of the student evaluative voice is proposed to identify their key characteristics in understanding and prospectively shaping practice. This analysis demonstrates that although alternative methods possess a clear potential to respond more effectively to the ever more complex pedagogical demands, their potential is limited by the hegemony of the ‘surveyed voice’ and the resource challenges of sustaining heightened student engagement.


Darwin, Stephen (2020). The changing topography of student evaluation in higher education: mapping the contemporary terrain. Higher Education Research & Development, 109, 1–14. DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2020.1740183.

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