Academic approaches and attitudes towards CAA: a qualitative study
conference contributionposted on 23.05.2006 by Colleen McKenna
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As CAA becomes more widely promoted in UK HE, it is important to gain a critical understanding of how academics view it as an assessment method, what types of learning it is considered capable of assessing, where its use is positioned within the curriculum and what are its perceived strengths and weaknesses. This study attempts to draw together the views of a collection of users and informed non-users of CAA and to articulate a set of mixed attitudes to issues such as learning levels, curricular impact, and support. It also attempts to preserve some of the minority perspectives on CAA which can be lost in the analysis of quantitative data. This paper is based on data from a qualitative study into the use CAA in UK higher education. The research is part of the CAA Centre National Survey and has built on the findings from phase one of the study, which comprised the analysis of over 750 questionnaires completed by academics, educationalists, staff developers and quality assurance staff (Bull and McKenna 2000). Topics considered here include reasons for and against the use of CAA, question design, the capacity to assess higher order learning, student response, the use of CAA with students with special needs and the role of institutional support.
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